Wednesday, December 3, 2014



Springfield, Illinois (JFK+50) Abraham Lincoln, having been certified as "a person of good moral character" by the state of Illinois, was admitted to practice law in the United States Circuit Court 175 years ago today, December 3, 1839.

After election to the Illinois State Legislature in 1834, Mr. Lincoln decided to enter the legal profession.  He taught himself the law by reading Commentaries on the Laws of England by William Blackstone and was admitted to the bar in 1837.

Abraham Lincoln of Illinois

AL moved to Springfield where he practiced law in the firm of John T. Stuart. Mr. Lincoln and William Herndon joined forces to set up their own law firm in 1844.  Lincoln served one term in the United States House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849.  He was the only Illinois congressman who was a Whig.

Returning to his law practice after serving in Congress, Mr. Lincoln became an attorney and lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad.  He also was able to represent individual clients as a defense attorney.

In 1856, Abraham Lincoln joined the Republican Party and the rest is history.