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Mormon Legal History 1800-1850: Joseph Smith time period: Illinois Legal History

This resource guide covers print and online resources for legal and Mormon history during the life of Joseph Smith (1805-1844).

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Early Illinois Legal History

John Dean Caton, Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (1893)

      Online in Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800 to 1926

      First Floor State KFI 1278 .C37 1893

      Microfiche KF 209 .A88 .B56 no.69

Francis B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois, 3 vols. (1916)

      Microfiche KF 209 .A88 .L44 no.40

Judith Gaskell, "Illinois Legal Research Before Statehood in 1818: A Bibliographical Guide," in Prestatehood Legal Materials: A Fifty-State Research Guide (2005), vol. 1, pp. 349-363

      Online in Google Books

      Second-Floor Reference KF 240 .P688 2005 V.1

Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois, 2nd ed. (1879)

      Online in Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800 to 1926

      Microfiche KF 209 .A88 .B56 no.152

John M. Palmer, The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent, 2 vols. (1899)

      Online in Making of Modern Law: Legal Treatises, 1800 to 1926

Abraham Lincoln the Lawyer


The Law Library of Congress hosts the following website with some info on Abraham Lincoln's legal career:

Law Library of Congress, Lincoln and the Law,

In addition, there are 2 electronic versions of Abraham Lincoln's legal papers (a 2009 free online version and a 2000 3-DVD set).

The most complete one is:
1. Martha L. Benner, Cullom Davis & Daniel W. Stowell, editors, The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2nd edition,
This online source has all the documents and data from the 1st edition (which was on DVD only), plus 45 more cases, 12 non-litigation activities and 1,300 documents, and is freely available and searchable over the Internet.
It also contains a short bibliography of Lincoln biographies, including books and articles on specific Lincoln cases. See
The above was the basis for the 4 volume printed set:
2. Daniel W. Stowell, editor, The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases (University of Virginia Press, 2008) [4 volumes].
The law library has this set at Law Third Floor KF 213 .L53 .S76 2008 V.1-4
The law library purchased the first edition of the online source listed above:
3. Martha L. Benner & Cullom Davis, editors, The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition (University of Illinois Press, 2000), 3 DVDs. It's at the Circulation Desk: LAW CD-ROM KF 368 .L52 .A4 2000 CD 1-3.
Contains 5,600 cases and legal matters, nearly 100,000 documents with almost 250,000 pages, with search capabilities.
Another related online source is:
4. Douglas L. Wilson & Rodney O. Davis, editors, Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln (University of Illinois Press, 1998),
Contains all the known 600 letters and interview notes about Abraham Lincoln collected by his law partner, William H. Herndon. The online version is searchable for free over the Internet. The print version is at BYU's Harold B. Lee Library, E 457 .H59 1998.


Major biographies on Abraham Lincoln's legal career include the following (in alphabetical order by author):

Isaac N. Arnold, Reminiscences of the Illinois Bar Forty Year Ago: Lincoln and Douglas as Orators and Lawyers (Illinois State Bar Association, 1881)

      Online in Making of Modern Law

Roger Billings & Frank J. Williams, editors, Abraham Lincoln, Esq.: The Legal Career of America's Greatest President (University Press of Kentucky, 2010)

      Third Floor Main E 457.2 .A1447 2010

      HBLL E 457.2 .A1447 2010

John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (Rinehart & Co., 1960)

      Third Floor Main E 457.2 .D8 1960

      HBLL E 457.2 .D8

Robert J. Johnson Jr., Trial By Fire: Abraham Lincoln and the Law (unpublished City University of New York PhD dissertation 2007)

      Online in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text

Elizabeth W. Matthews, Lincoln as a Lawyer: An Annotated Bibliography (1991)

      Third Floor Main KF 368 .L52 .M37 1991

Stacy Pratt McDermott, The Jury in Lincoln's America (2012)

      First Floor State KFI 1742 .M37 2012

Charles R. McKirdy, Lincoln Apostate: The Matson Slave Trial (2011)

      Third Floor Main KF 228 .B778 .M38 2011

Arthur L. Rizer, Lincoln's Counsel: Lessons From America's Most Persuasive Speaker (American Bar Association, 2010)

      Third Floor Main KF 368 .R59 2010

Mark E. Steiner, An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln (Northern Illinois University Press, 2006)

      Third Floor Main E 457.2 .S8 2006

William H. Townsend, Lincoln the Litigant (Lawbook Exchange, 2000; reprint of the 1925 Houghton Mifflin edition)

      Online in HeinOnline (1925 ed.)

      Third Floor Main KF 368 .L52 .T688 2000 (2000 reprint)

      HBLL E 457.3 .T76 (1925 ed.)

Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln, 2nd ed. (Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2001) [reprint of the 1936 Houghton Mifflin edition]

      Third Floor Main E 457 .W85 2001

      HBLL E 457 .W85x 2001

John Maxcy Zane, Lincoln: The Constitutional Lawyer (Caxton Club, 1932)

      First Floor Microfiche KF 209 .A88 .B56 no.255

Subject Guide

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