Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mt. Pulaski in Logan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lincoln's Law Practice

 
 
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
1. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Inscription. Lincoln illustrator Lloyd Ostendorf imagined this scene in connection with Mt. Pulaski's "cast iron tombstone" case that Lincoln handled on appeal in the Illinois Supreme Court in Springfield (1859). Two local residents separately sued Reuben Miller for fraudulently selling them rights to an iron tombstone patent that they later decided was "frivolous and of no benefit to society." Judge David Davis rendered a verdict against Miller here in the trial court. But in Springfield, Lincoln succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to send the case back for retrial. The case dragged on for years-returning two more times to the Supreme Court. It was not finally resolved until after Lincoln became president. Miller ultimately lost.

Fire destroyed most of the court records pertaining to attorney Abraham Lincoln's Mt. Pulaski legal practice. The records perished when the recently-completed Logan County courthouse in Lincoln burned down in 1857. Most of what is known of Lincoln's legal practice in Mt. Pulaski comes from Illinois State Supreme Court records in Springfield---which usually include information about trial proceedings that transpired here in the courtroom before the cases were appealed. In two of Lincoln's more important local cases he opposed his former law partners Stephen T. Logan and John Todd Stuart. When Mt. Pulaski replaced

Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
2. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Postville as the county seat. Postville land owners hired Logan and Stuart to recover the value of land they had donated to the county. Lincoln successfully defended the county by demonstrating that Postville men had been fairly compensated. A few years later, when the new city of Lincoln became county seat, mt. Pulaski hired Lincoln's old partners and sued the county to prevent the change. Lincoln defended the county and won again.

The "Horological Cradle" case was one of the stranger cases that lawyer Lincoln handled in Mt. Pulaski. At issue was a land swap for a patent on a mechanical cradle touted by Springfield newspapers as "a wonder of the age," that "no mother should be without." Once wound up, the cradle rocked itself freeing mothers to pursue other chores. Lincoln sued the local "inventor" on behalf of local patent purchasers who discovered that the patent covered only the cradle's ornamentation, not its mechanical design. Lincoln thoroughly enjoyed demonstrating the mechanics of the cradle to a courtroom of amused onlookers. But the contraption reportedly confused Judge David Davis, who supposedly asked how one could stop it from rocking. It's like some of the glib talkers you and I know, Judge," Lincoln explained, it won't stop until it runs down."
 
Marker series. This marker is included

Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
3. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
 
Location. 40° 0.546′ N, 89° 17.113′ W. Marker is in Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, in Logan County. Marker is on Washington St., on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Pulaski IL 62548, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mt. Pulaski Court House (a few steps from this marker); Circuit Court Stop (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); Bi-Plane - Train Race 1910 (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 9.7 miles away but has been reported missing); This Lot was Owned by Abraham Lincoln (approx. 10.3 miles away); a different marker also named Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (approx. 10.3 miles away); Samuel C. Parks (approx. 10.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Mt. Pulaski.
 
Also see . . .  Lincoln's Law Practice. This link will take you to a video I made of the sign. Feel free to watch. (Submitted on March 28, 2011, by Ted Hickox of Decatur, Illinois.) 
 
Categories. EducationPolitics
 
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
4. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
5. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
6. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
7. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
Lincoln's Law Practice Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ted Hickox, March 2011
8. Lincoln's Law Practice Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Ted Hickox of Decatur, Illinois. This page has been viewed 426 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Ted Hickox of Decatur, Illinois. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement