Stuart and Lincoln Law Oﬃce
Before he moved to Springfield Abraham Lincoln came to the law office of John Todd Stuart to barrow law books.
Henry E. Dummer---Stuart;s partner at the time---recalled that the "uncouth looking" Lincoln said little and seemed timid. Yet when he did talk he was both strong and acute. "He surprised us more and more at every visit," Dummer remembered. In 1837 Lincoln joined Stuart as the junior in a law partnership that lasted four years. At the time, Sangamon County rented the room directly beneath the partners' law office as a courtroom. A trap door between the ceiling and floor connected the rooms, permitting Lincoln to "overhear" a lot. During the Fall 1839 political season, disgruntled Democrats threatened Lincoln's friend Edward Baker with bodily harm during a speech he was delivering in the courthouse. Hearing the commotion, the 30-year-old Lincoln made a sudden, dramatic entrance through the trap door and into the crowd. He threatened to "pitch in" if anyone attacked Baker. No one challenged Lincoln and Baker finished his speech unmolested.
"Hoffman's Row" was considered "a striking and handsome improvement" over other buildings in early Springfield. It consisted of six two-storied contiguous brick sections that ran north up Fifty street to the middle of this block. A second floor room
In Lincoln's world there were few schools in which to study law and politics. For most young men, a mentor was indispensable. Lincoln's first was John Todd Stuart---an educated Kentucky aristocrat who was two years. Lincoln's senior (and a first cousin to Mary Todd, the future Mrs. Lincoln. Stuart met Lincoln as a militia officer during the Black Hawk War, and worked with him as a state legislator in Vandalia. Impressed by Lincoln's demeanor and intelligence, he encouraged Lincoln to study law. He also guided Lincoln into the circles of political leadership. In the 1850s they became politically estranged when Stuart refused to join the antislavery Republican party after the demise of the Whig party.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Looking for Lincoln marker series.
Location. 39° 48.124′ N, 89° 38.967′ W. Marker is in Springfield, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on 5th Street. Click for map. Between East Jefferson and East Washington Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Springfield IL 62702, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 369 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.