Lincoln the Lawyer

Lincoln the Lawyer

by Brian R. Dirck
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0252031814

ISBN-13: 9780252031816

Pub. Date: 04/04/2007

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

What the law did to and for Abraham Lincoln, and its important impact on his future presidency

Despite historians' focus on the man as president and politician, Abraham Lincoln lived most of his adult life as a practicing lawyer. It was as a lawyer that he fed his family, made his reputation, bonded with Illinois, and began his political career. Lawyering

Overview

What the law did to and for Abraham Lincoln, and its important impact on his future presidency

Despite historians' focus on the man as president and politician, Abraham Lincoln lived most of his adult life as a practicing lawyer. It was as a lawyer that he fed his family, made his reputation, bonded with Illinois, and began his political career. Lawyering was also how Lincoln learned to become an expert mediator between angry antagonists, as he applied his knowledge of the law and of human nature to settle one dispute after another. Frontier lawyers worked hard to establish respect for the law and encourage people to resolve their differences without intimidation or violence. These were the very skills Lincoln used so deftly to hold a crumbling nation together during his presidency.

The growth of Lincoln's practice attests to the trust he was able to inspire, and his travels from court to court taught him much about the people and land of Illinois. Lincoln the Lawyer explores the origins of Lincoln's desire to practice law, his legal education, his partnerships with John Stuart, Stephen Logan, and William Herndon, and the maturation of his far-flung practice in the 1840s and 1850s. Brian Dirck provides a context for law as it was practiced in mid-century Illinois and evaluates Lincoln's merits as an attorney by comparison with his peers. He examines Lincoln's clientele, his circuit practice, his views on legal ethics, and the supposition that he never defended a client he knew to be guilty. This approach allows readers not only to consider Lincoln as he lived his life—it also shows them how the law was used and developed in Lincoln's lifetime, how Lincoln charged his clients, how he was paid, and how he addressed judge and jury.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780252031816
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
Publication date:
04/04/2007
Edition description:
ANN
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     1
"Great God Almighty"     9
The Brethren     33
Promissory Notes     54
The Energy Men     76
The Show     99
Death and the Maidens     120
Storytelling     138
Grease     154
Conclusion     173
Notes     177
Bibliography and Sources     211
Index     221

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