Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit

Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit

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Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit by Guy C. Fraker

Throughout his twenty-three-year legal career, Abraham Lincoln spent nearly as much time on the road as an attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit as he did in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. Yet most historians gloss over the time and instead have Lincoln emerge fully formed as a skillful politician in 1858. In this innovative volume, Guy C. Fraker provides the first-ever study of Lincoln’s professional and personal home away from home and demonstrates how the Eighth Judicial Circuit and its people propelled Lincoln to the presidency. 

Each spring and fall, Lincoln traveled to as many as fourteen county seats in the Eighth Judicial Circuit to appear in consecutive court sessions over a ten- to twelve-week period.  Fraker describes the people and counties that Lincoln encountered, discusses key cases Lincoln handled, and introduces the important friends he made, friends who eventually formed the team that executed Lincoln’s nomination strategy at the Chicago Republican Convention in 1860 and won him the presidential nomination.  

As Fraker shows, the Eighth Judicial Circuit provided the perfect setting for the growth and ascension of Lincoln.  A complete portrait of the sixteenth president depends on a full understanding of his experience on the circuit, and Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency provides that understanding as well as a fresh perspective on the much-studied figure, thus deepening our understanding of the roots of his political influence and acumen.

Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
Superior Achievement by the Illinois State Historical Society, 2013

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809332014
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 10/26/2012
Edition description: 1st Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 322,241
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Guy C. Fraker, an attorney in Bloomington, Illinois, has written extensively and lectures frequently on the Eighth Circuit.  He was the consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary, “Lincoln, Prelude to the Presidency,” and co-curated “Prologue to the Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit,” a traveling exhibit also on permanent display at the David Davis Mansion, a state historic site in Bloomington.  He served as an advisor to the National Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.  A graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, he is a past president of the McLean County Bar Association.

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Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Juanjo54 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Fraker is a well respected attorney and scholar concerning President Lincoln. This book is well written and gives a real sense of how our 16th president was shaped in his early days. The language while not dumbed down, is easily understood by any casual reader curious to know more as well as someone of a more academic bent. This is a talent hard to find among writers and one of the things that makes this book a good read. I endorse it wholeheartedly.