Stuart and Lincoln Law Office

Stuart and Lincoln Law Office (HM12RS)

Location: Springfield, IL 62701 Sangamon County
Country: United States of America

N 39° 48.124', W 89° 38.967'

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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 the fifth section was the law office of Stuart and Lincoln. Furnishings were a small lounge, a chair, a buffalo robe, a wooden bench, bookcase, and table "which answered for a desk."

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.

HM NumberHM12RS
Series This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at 11:00am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 273177 N 4409147
Decimal Degrees39.80206667, -89.64945000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 48.124', W 89° 38.967'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 48' 7.44" N, 89° 38' 58.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)217
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 111 NW Old State Capitol Plaza, Springfield IL 62701, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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