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

Lincoln The Lawyer

“ A Rustic on his First Visit “

 

—Looking for Lincoln —

 
Lincoln The Lawyer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
1. Lincoln The Lawyer Marker
Inscription. “A rustic on his first visit to the circus” is how John W. Baddeley, an English immigrant farmer described Abraham Lincoln on his first visit to the McLean County Courthouse as a young attorney in the summer of 1837. Lincoln was wearing “ill-fitting homespun clothes, the trousers a little too short, and the coat a trifle too large.” Baddeley summarily dismissed the “country bumpkin” lawyer who had been sent by his senior partner, John Todd Stuart, to represent the Englishman. Despite this initial reaction, Lincoln later represented Baddeley in numerous matters. Lincoln appeared often at the courthouse as an attorney and as a political speaker. Undoubtedly, his best-known appearance in the courthouse was as the victorious attorney in The Illinois Central Rail Road v. McLean County case (1853). In a landmark decision, the Illinois Supreme Court, on appeal, ruled the Illinois General Assembly had the constitutional right to exempt the railroad’s property from taxation. Called by his partner, William H. Herndon, their “most important case,” the two attorneys divided the $5,000 fee equally between them.

This Federal Style Structure was erected I 1836, serving until it was replaced by the third courthouse in 1868. Often referred to as “coffee
Center Panel - - Lincoln The Lawyer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
2. Center Panel - - Lincoln The Lawyer Marker
mill courthouses
,” this architectural style was common in the Midwest. The McLean County Courthouse, designed and built by Leander Munsell, was located on the southwest corner of this block. Lincoln often appeared here as an attorney and as an orator, giving speeches on the lawn, between 1837 and 1860 - - - the year he was elected sixteenth President of the United States.

On Sunday, April 16, 1865, following numerous funeral sermons in the city’s churches, one of the largest crowds gathered on the courthouse lawn to mourn the death of President Lincoln. Journalist Ida Tarbell observed: “Elsewhere it was only a President, a national leader, who had been lost; here it was a personal friend, and people refused to be comforted.... people gathered in the yard about the court-house, where for years they had been accustomed to see Lincoln coming and going. ...” Two weeks later, crowds gathered along the Chicago and Alton Rail Road line to pay homage to the dead President as the Lincoln Funeral passed through Bloomington on its way to Springfield and Lincoln’s final resting place.
 
Erected 2008 by Looking for Lincoln Heritage Commission and the City of Bloomington.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location.
Right Panel - - Lincoln The Lawyer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
3. Right Panel - - Lincoln The Lawyer Marker
40° 28.785′ N, 88° 59.613′ W. Marker is in Bloomington, Illinois, in McLean County. Marker is on North Main Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 North Main Street, Bloomington IL 61701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Phoenix Block (a few steps from this marker); World War II War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); Risk of the Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Center Street Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Miller-Davis Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Miller-Davis Buildings (about 400 feet away); The Rounds Block (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Bloomington.
 
Also see . . .  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
1836 Court House - Federal Style image. Click for full size.
Courtesy - "Looking for Lincoln", October 5, 2008
4. 1836 Court House - Federal Style
from Springfield. (Submitted on October 17, 2008, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. GovernmentHeroesNotable EventsNotable PersonsNotable PlacesPolitics
 
Current Building is now "McLean County History Museum" image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
5. Current Building is now "McLean County History Museum"
Other View image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
6. Other View
Abraham Lincoln - - Statue image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, October 5, 2008
7. Abraham Lincoln - - Statue
Just a few steps North of the McLean County History Museum entrance, Abe Lincoln would like to have your photo taken with him on the bench.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,834 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.   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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