Alton in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Lincoln Practiced Here
— Life Before Presidency —
Lincoln made frequent legal and political trips to Alton putting him in the heart of Alton history.
For nearly twenty-five years before becoming president, Lincoln was a general practice attorney, representing clients in a variety of civil and criminal actions in Alton and surrounding areas.
In 1844, Lincoln helped the original owner of this building, Simeon Ryder, collect and old debt. A former sea captain, Ryder was one of Alton's most successful developers.
Lincoln also stumped tirelessly for his political allies, first Whigs and later Republicans, traveling across the state making speeches. In April 1840, Lincoln delivered a political speech for Whig candidate William Henry Harrison at the Ryder Building.
"In law it is good policy to never plead what you need not—lest you oblige yourself to prove what you cannot." —Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln traveled across the region to serve his clients.
In this letter signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1844, Simeon Ryder learns that he won his lawsuit.
The Ryder Building was also used as a courtroom. The Lovejoy trials were probably held here. Learn more about the murder of abolitionist editor Elijah P. Lovejoy at the Lovejoy Monument.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #09 William Henry Harrison, the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1840.
Location. 38° 53.396′ N, 90° 11.065′ W. Marker is in Alton, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker is at the intersection of Alby Street and East Broadway, on the right when traveling south on Alby Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31 East Broadway, Alton IL 62002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln-Douglas Debates! (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Discover History All Around Alton (about 400 feet away); Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Alton (about 400 feet away); St. Paul's Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away); Miles Davis (approx. 0.2 miles away); Setting the Stage for the Great Debate (approx. ¼ mile away); Alton & Sangamon Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); The Duel That Never Happened (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alton.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 208 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.