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 Where Lincoln and Stuart Had Their Law Practice

Where Lincoln and Stuart Had Their Law Practice

Upon moving to Springfield in 1837, Abraham Lincoln began the practice of law as the junior partner of John Todd Stuart. Stuart was an established Springfield attorney, but took on a partner to free himself from enough legal work to facilitate his run for Congress. The offices of Stuart and Lincoln occupied a single room on the second floor of the building pictured here. With Stuart often absent from the premises, Lincoln found himself obliged to master the details of a general law practice rapidly. He gained valuable experience representing a wide variety of clients in divergent types of cases. Lincoln also traveled the judicial circuit that included Bloomington and other central Illinois communities. This circuit allowed a single judge and a number of lawyers based in a larger community, like Springfield, to provide individuals in outlying areas with access to legal council and judicial proceedings on a regular schedule. In 1839 Stuart left to begin his term in the United States Congress, leaving Lincoln to run the firm himself.


Permission: Chicago Historical Society.
©Copyright 2002 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project