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

Anthony Thornton

 

óLooking for Lincoln ó

 
Left Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
1. Left Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker
(Click on any of these photos to see details.)
Inscription.

Left Section

Anthony Thornton and Abraham Lincoln led fairly similar lives. Both were born in Kentucky, were tall, and were Whigs.

Both began practicing law in Illinois in 1836, even though Thornton was college-educated and read law in an uncleís law office while Lincoln had little schooling and was self-taught in the law. Both served in the Illinois legislature. Thornton served in the constitutional convention in 1847, when Lincoln was elected to the U. S. Congress. After 1854, the two men took different paths. The Kansas-Nebraska Act destroyed the Whig Party, resulting in new party loyalties. Thornton, concerned about the anti-slavery zeal of the Republicans, chose the Democrats; Lincoln took several years before finally calling himself a Republican. Despite the party changes, the two remained friends. Thornton supported Stephen Douglas in the 1858 Illinois Senate race and was a presidential elector for Douglas in 1860. During the Civil War, Thornton was a pro-war Democrat, sold bonds to pay bounties for Shelby County volunteers, and won election to the U. S. Congress in 1864. He took office in March 1865, just one month before Lincolnís assassination.

Center Section

Thornton had a distinguished career after the Civil War. He served one term in the U. S. House, working
Center Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
2. Center Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker
on the important Committee of Claims. In 1870, he was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court, hearing more than 1,500 cases and writing approximately 200 opinions in his four-year tenure. In 1877, he became the first president of the Illinois State Bar Association, serving three terms. After a life of public service, he returned to the law, dying in Shelbyville in 1904.

Right Section

Anthony Thornton assisted in protecting Lincolnís professional reputation. Oldham and Hemingway, partners with Lincolnís deceased father-in-law Robert Todd, sued Lincoln in a Kentucky court, alleging that Lincoln had failed to pay them money from a note that he had collected against Shelbyville residents William F. Thornton and his son-in-law, Marshall Basye. Lincoln was angry at the suggestion that he purposefully withheld money from his father-in-law. Lincoln came to Shelbyville in 1853 to take William Thorntonís deposition. William Thornton was away, so Lincoln took the testimony of Anthony Thornton, who had served as an attorney for William Thornton and Basye, was aware of the circumstances, and claimed that “Lincoln has never had anything to do with said note.” Because of Thorntonís testimony, the plaintiffs dismissed their lawsuit against Lincoln, helping to preserve Lincolnís very important reputation as a lawyer.
 
Erected
Right Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
3. Right Section - - Anthony Thornton Marker
2009 by Shelby County Historical Society, Lincoln Heritage Coalition.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 39° 24.415′ N, 88° 47.412′ W. Marker is in Shelbyville, Illinois, in Shelby County. Marker is on East Main Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is East of the Shelby County Courthouse in Shelbyville, Illinois at the "Shelby County Visitors Center". Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 East. Main Street, Shelbyville IL 62565, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Traveling the Circuit (a few steps from this marker); First Commercial Pick-up Baler (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln-Thornton Debate / Lincoln Circuit (within shouting distance of this marker); Freedom Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Soldiers and Sailors Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Lincoln - Thornton Debate (within shouting distance of this marker); " Let's Debate " by John McClarey (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Shelbyville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Travel with Lincoln ::
Full View - - Anthony Thornton Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
4. Full View - - Anthony Thornton Marker
Marker is located to the left of the front door of the Shelby County Visitors Center.
. Climb into Lincolnís 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 May 16, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

2. Looking for Lincoln::. Many resources for the Tracking of Lincoln through History and Illinois. Aimed at all ages. (Submitted on May 16, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

3. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. 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 May 16, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Categories. Notable PersonsPolitics
 
Anthony Thornton image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
5. Anthony Thornton
Displayed on Marker - Center Section
Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Photo Displayed on Right Section of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
6. Photo Displayed on Right Section of Marker
Courtesy of James and Sarah Bitzer, Shelbyville, Illinois
Entry to "Shelby County Visitors Center". . . image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
7. Entry to "Shelby County Visitors Center". . .
The "Anthony Thornton" marker is the one on the left.
Just up the Hill and on the Right . . . image. Click for full size.
By Al Wolf, May 15, 2010
8. Just up the Hill and on the Right . . .
In this photo - - we are looking West on State Road 16 entering Shelbyville from the East .
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 985 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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