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Urbana in Champaign County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Urbana's Lincoln

Looking for Lincoln

 
 
Upper Section - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
1. Upper Section - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker
(Click on any of these photos to see the details.)
Inscription.  
Top Section
Murder, larceny, and even rape- - -the young circuit lawyer Abraham Lincoln, practicing in Urbana, handled cases involving all of these in the courthouse which stood on this city block. Lincoln unsuccessfully defended William Weaver, the first man accused of murder in Champaign County. Lincoln appeared in court here from 1841 to 1860. The cases weren’t all felonies: Lincoln more often represented ordinary citizens with their divorces, land title disputes, and contested debts. He worked with local attorneys like J. O. Cunningham (later a Champaign County Judge, county benefactor, and historian) and Henry Clay Whitney (a Lincoln biographer). Each court visit required working through the entire docket of cases until they were settled, tried, or continued. Sometimes Lincoln presided as judge pro tem, when the standing judge, David Davis could not be present. Lincoln might serve as counsel for the plaintiff- - -or the defendant. In the document pictured below, Lincoln is signing for himself and local lawyer William Coler, pleading for Vannata, who was being sued for improper care of Burgess’ sheep.

[Caption:]
Lincoln
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also advanced his political career in Urbana. On May 31, 1854 while in Urbana, Lincoln learned of the adoption of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing for popular sovereignty, and the potential spread of slavery to U. S. Territories. On October 14, 1854, in the Circuit Courtroom on this site, Lincoln delivered one of a group of speeches against the expansion of slavery.

Lower Section
Abraham Lincoln was reputed never to “touch whiskey or play cards.” During an 1848 court session, he also admitted that he had never played billiards. J. C. Sheldon, another young attorney who, in his physical appearance, was the direct opposite of the lanky Lincoln, was also new to the game. Lincoln and Sheldon met for a match.

H. M. Russell, a local hotelier’s nephew, reported: “No matter where the balls lay, Mr. Lincoln would lean his whole body over the rail and with his long arms reach anywhere on the table. Mr. Sheldon’s large prominence came in contact with the rail for nearly every shot. He could not lean over, but would try to lie on the table with his feet off the floor.” The game (for 100 points) lasted well into the night, and no one remembered who won.
 
Erected 2008 by Friends of the Courthouse.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment
Lower Section - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
2. Lower Section - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker
Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the Looking for Lincoln series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is May 1728.
 
Location. 40° 6.734′ N, 88° 12.414′ W. Marker is in Urbana, Illinois, in Champaign County. Marker is on East Main Street east of South Broadway Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located at the North/West section of the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana, Illinois. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Urbana IL 61801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (within shouting distance of this marker); Tiernan's Block / Masonic Temple (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Busey's Hall/Princess Theater (about 400 feet away); Nat H. Cohen Building (about 500 feet away); Lincoln & Photography (about 600 feet away); The Eli Halberstadt House (approx. ¼ mile away); Lindley House (approx. ¼ mile away); Unitarian Universalist Church (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbana.
 
Also see . . .
1. Looking for Lincoln Video - on P. B. S. Follow
Lower Section - - Photo image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
3. Lower Section - - Photo
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 24, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 

2. Looking for Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area website homepage:
Many resources for tracking Lincoln through History and Illinois, for all ages. (Submitted on May 24, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.) 
 
Full View - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
4. Full View - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker
Other View - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
5. Other View - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker
Urbana's Lincoln Marker & Older Section of Courthouse image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
6. Urbana's Lincoln Marker & Older Section of Courthouse
Looking West - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Courtesy:: Trevor Searcy, May 23, 2010
7. Looking West - - Urbana's Lincoln Marker
The "Champaign/Urbana Bike 'Grande Prix'" was in progress. . > > >
Travel with Lincoln image. Click for more information.
Photographed By Larry Gertner
8. Travel with Lincoln
All the HMDb Lincoln Circuit Markers, and a few others, following Lincoln's travels while a member of the Circuit of the Eighth Judicial District from 1847 - 1857.
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 from Springfield.
(Submitted on May 24, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Click for more information.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 24, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,597 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 24, 2010, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.   8. submitted on June 4, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 27, 2024