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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Clinton in Dewitt County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lincoln and The Law

 

—Looking for Lincoln —

 
Top Section - - Lincoln and The Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
1. Top Section - - Lincoln and The Law Marker
(Click on any photo to see the details.)
Inscription. During his twenty years on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Abraham Lincoln tried numerous cases in the DeWitt County courthouses, including a slander case involving William Dungey. Dungey, “a dark skinned man of Portuguese descent,” married Joseph Spencer’s sister. The brothers-in-law had a dispute that became so bitter that by 1855, Spencer was making a serious accusation: “Black Bill" Dungey, as Spencer was calling him, was a “negro.” In this time and place, if Dungey were indeed proven to have on-fourth African blood, he stood to lose his good reputation as well as his legal rights to his marriage, property ownership, his vote, and Illinois residency. Since 1819, Illinois laws permitted pseudo-slavery and discouraged free blacks from residing in the state. Representing Dungey in April 1855, Lincoln charged Spencer with slander. The case carried over to the fall term of court and was brought before a jury. Lincoln prevailed. Spencer was found guilty and ordered to pay $600 restitution and $137.50 court costs. Lincoln charged Dungey $25 for his services and counseled Dungey to avoid an appeal.

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas were co-counsel for the defendant in DeWitt County’s first murder trial, People -vs- Spencer Turner, one of the very few times Lincoln
Close-up Photo - - 'Abraham Lincoln' image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
2. Close-up Photo - - 'Abraham Lincoln'
Photo text from marker: "" Lincoln acted as lawyer and judge in DeWitt County Court. "Only God Almighty knows what a jury will do." ""
and Douglas worked as partners. Turner was charged with causing injuries that led to the demise of Matthew Martin. Proving the deceased came to his death from lying out in the harsh elements rather than blunt force to the head, the two won their case. Turner was acquitted in May of 1840. On September 8, 1841, Lincoln filed suit to collect his legal fee from Spencer and William Turner, who defaulted on their promissory note. Douglas was able to take his share in currency. According to local legend, Lincoln was forced to accept a horse in lieu of payment, and not long after the horse became “stone blind and perfectly worthless.
 
Erected 2009 by William Davenport, Lincoln Heritage of DeWitt County.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 40° 9.225′ N, 88° 57.643′ W. Marker is in Clinton, Illinois, in Dewitt County. Marker is at the intersection of North Center Street and Washington Street, on the left when traveling north on North Center Street. Click for map. Located at the "DeWitt County Sheriff's Department' building. Marker is in this post office area: Clinton IL 61727, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. “You can fool all the people part of the time . . .”
Bottom Section - - Lincoln and The Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
3. Bottom Section - - Lincoln and The Law Marker
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lincoln at Work and Play (about 400 feet away); DeWitt County War Memorial (about 400 feet away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (about 500 feet away); Lincoln's Friends and Foes (about 600 feet away); Warner's Memories / Lawyers and Book Lovers (about 600 feet away); Lincoln's Hat (about 700 feet away); Humorous Moments (about 700 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Clinton.
 
Also see . . .
1. Travel with Lincoln ::. Climb into Lincoln’s buggy and take a trip with Lincoln and his fellow lawyers on the job traveling Illinois as Circuit Lawyers. See all the Lincoln Circuit Markers (and a surprise or two), in the order of his travels while a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District (of Illinois) during 1847-1857. Use the “First >>” button in the upper right to see these markers in sequence, starting from Springfield. (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

2. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S.
Close-up Photo - - ' Stepthen A. Douglas ' image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
4. Close-up Photo - - ' Stepthen A. Douglas '
Follow Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "...from Illinois, to Gettysburg, to Washington, D. C., and face to face with people who live with Lincoln every day..." (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

3. Looking for Lincoln::. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on November 8, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. Notable Persons
 
Full View - - Lincoln and The Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
5. Full View - - Lincoln and The Law Marker
Looking North/West - - Lincoln and The Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
6. Looking North/West - - Lincoln and The Law Marker
Looking East - - Lincoln and The Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, November 7, 2009
7. Looking East - - Lincoln and The Law Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,634 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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