Abraham Lincoln received his largest fee ever for representing the Illinois Central Railroad in a suit against McLean County in 1853-1857. When the company rejected his $5,000 fee, Lincoln sued, bringing "forth testimony to prove that his charges were very reasonable under the circumstances." The court ordered the railroad to pay Lincoln the amount, less the $200 retainer already received. Lincoln deposited the check in a Springfield bank on August 12, 1857. On August 31, he withdrew that amount (see the warrant on the left) and shared half the fee with his partner, William H. Herndon; Lincoln lent the other half to Norman Judd to purchase land in Iowa.
In the 1850's Bloomington became an important railroad hub. Bloomington's State Senator Asahel Gridley had been instrumental in securing the passage of the Illinois Central Railroad through Bloomington, and in 1854 the Alton and Sangamon Railroad reached Bloomington, while the Toledo, Peoria and Western crossed northern McLean County. The presence of the railroads spurred Bloomington's economy, and its population grew rapidly.
The Illinois Central Railroad depot, depicted here in an 1860 lithograph, is evidence of Bloomington's rapid growth and prosperity in the 1850's. Abraham Lincoln was placed on retainer by the Illinois Central Railroad through much of the 1850's and handled more than fifty cases for it. As one of the railroad's principal attorneys, he continued to receive an annual pass over the railroad even after he had sued for his fee.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 5:22pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16T E 332043 N 4482755|
|Decimal Degrees||40.47851667, -88.98146667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 40° 28.711', W 88° 58.888'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||40° 28' 42.66" N, 88° 58' 53.28" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 401-499 Railroad St, Bloomington IL 61701, US|
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