Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

State of Illinois

University of Illinois at Springfield

Editorial Board

Advisory Board

National Center for Super Computing Applications

Major Financial Contributors

The conventions of documentary publication virtually require that editorship be identified by the name(s) of one or two key people. Accordingly we recognize as chief editors Martha L. Benner, who conceptualized the format and directly managed nearly every aspect of producing this work, and Cullom Davis, who as project director created the project framework and guided it to fruition. However, from beginning to end this was a genuinely collaborative effort that vitally depended upon a relatively large and manifestly talented editorial staff. Among those still so engaged at the time of publication, the aggregate experience reconstructing Abraham Lincoln's legal career exceeded 70 years (more than twice the time Abraham Lincoln himself spent fashioning it!). While equal billing is not possible, our editorial colleagues deserve ample credit for years of often tedious toil, a keen scrutiny that unearthed almost 100,000 documents (including over 200 previously unknown records in Lincoln's hand), patient discussion of myriad editorial issues, a passion for accurately extracting case and document facts, and a professional dedication that approached zeal.

Second only to the editorial staff was the contribution by project clerks, graduate assistants, temporary employees, and volunteers. They too displayed an enthusiasm and commitment far beyond what one might naturally expect. Staff colleagues with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Illinois State Historical Library assisted in countless ways, as did officials with the Illinois State Archives, the Illinois Supreme Court Library, and Illinois State Library.

From its inception in 1985 this effort has been sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, which has provided most of our financial support, convenient office space, and steady encouragement. Past and present trustees and directors of IHPA have never wavered in their determination to sponsor a definitive edition of Lincoln's legal records, and their success is evident in the support provided by three successive governors of Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Association has been a faithful cosponsor throughout, providing financial assistance at critical moments and endorsing our annual fundraising effort. Early in the effort came another cosponsor, the Center for Legal Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Its annual subsidy and administrative support have been vital.

We have been blessed with expert and generous counsel from two blue-ribbon groups, our Advisory Board and our Editorial Board. Meeting semiannually and conferring often in person, the Advisory Board has been a reliable source of sound advice and support. The much smaller Editorial Board consists of distinguished scholars in Lincolniana, legal history, bibliography, and documentary editing, who jointly and individually have guided our plans and publications. Their significant service has gone largely unrewarded, but is acknowledged here.

This edition is a derivative archive: without the assistance of the owners and guardians of the original documents, it would not have been possible to assemble this collection. Circuit clerks, librarians, archivists, manuscript dealers, and document collectors have generously allowed us to photocopy and scan the documents that are contained herein.

Finally, we acknowledge the many donors who supplemented our funding and allowed us to continue our momentum in the lean years. Their support and faith in us has been truly heartening.


Current Staff

Staff Through the Years

Professional Staff:

William D. Beard, Assistant Editor; Martha L. Benner, Assistant Director/Editor; Erin I. Bishop, Research Assistant; Roger D. Bridges, Director; Sean M. Brown, Research Associate; Michael Bonansinga, Research Associate; George M. Curtis III, Director; Cullom Davis, Director/Editor; Michael Duncan, Research Assistant; Eric Freyfogle, Consulting Legal Historian; Susan Krause, Assistant Editor; Mark E. Steiner, Associate Editor; Dennis E. Suttles, Assistant Editor; Joanne R. Walroth, Assistant Editor; Leslie Wright, Research Assistant.

Secretarial and Clerical Staff:

Jeni Bahl, Jo Benner, Mattie Grant, Margaret Hankins, Ann Jenkins, Tammy Lescaleet, Elliott Mohler, Kelly Ongman, Diane Saarinen, Jane Shaake, Miriam Stowell, Jeremy Zumwalt

Graduate Assistants and Interns:

Dylan Bauer, Teresa Berner, Dylan Burns, Robert Crosby, Phyllis Daugherty, Tara Hughes, Michael Kelley, Teresa Kinney, August Lamczyk, Scott Metzke, Marilyn Mueller, Andrea Parker

Contractual Researchers:

Michael Bennett, Laura Clower, Melinda Kwedar, Carol Watson Lubrant, Gregory Olson, John Squibb, Abigail Sutton, Philip Tomlinson, Marjorie Towery


Mary Ann Armstrong, Dan Bannister, Rose Anne Davis, Hugh Drake, Joe Gergits, Andrew L. Goldstein (Sidley & Austin, Attorneys at Law), Vera Herst, Sharon Hiltibidal, Roberta Jones, Robert Lawless, Mary Jane MacDonald, Dave McCarthy, Daniel McQuown, Linda Moore, Stephen Sauer, Jason Turner, Daniel Willenborg

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois

Bryon Andreasen, Kim Bauer, James Cornelius, Jennifer Ericson, Kathryn Harris, Mary Michals, Mary Ann Pohl, Thomas F. Schwartz

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Board of Trustees

present: Julie Cellini, chair (1985- ), Pamela A. Daniels (1990- ), J. Douglas Donenfeld (2003- ), Edward M. Genson (1998- ), Roger Taylor (2002- )

former: Lonnie Bunch (2002-2003), Zale Glauberman (2001-2003), Laurie Ann Hoffman (2003-2007), Samuel Lilly (1992-2003), Frank Mason (1985-1994), Richard J. Roddewig (1985-1992), Sally Schanbacher (1985-1997), Marc S. Schulman (1985-1991), Elizabeth I. Smith (2003-2007), Carol Stein (1992-2001), Warren Swanson (1994-2000)


Jan Grimes (2008- )

Jennifer D. Tirey, Acting Director (2008)

Robert J. Coomer (2004-2007)

Maynard A. Crossland (2002-2004)

Susan Mogerman (1990-2002)

Michael J. Devine (1985-1990)

State of Illinois

Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor (2003- )

George H. Ryan, Governor (1999-2003)

Jim Edgar, Governor (1991-1999)

James R. Thompson, Governor (1977-1991)

University of Illinois at Springfield

Center for State Policy and Leadership

Anthony P. Halter, Executive Director (2006- )

Barbara Ferrara, Interim Executive Director (2004-2006)

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies

Milan Dluhy, Executive Director (2003)

Ernest Cowles, Interim Executive Director (2001-2003 )

Center for Legal Studies

Ernest Cowles, Director (1994 - 2001)

Nancy L. Ford, Director (1984 - 1993)

Editorial Board

present: Paul Bergeron, Harold M. Hyman, John P. Kaminski, Stanley N. Katz, Jenni Parrish

former: Charles T. Cullen, Robert W. Johannsen, John Y. Simon

Advisory Board

present: Roger D. Bridges, Sheldon S. Cohen, Donald H. Funk, Anthony P. Halter, Kathryn Harris, Richard E. Hart, David Joens, Robert W. Johannsen, Victor Lary, Ben Miller, Susan Mogerman, Thomas F. Schwartz, Mark E. Steiner, Louise Taper, John Taylor, Richard Thies, Donald R. Tracy, Robert Willard

former: Charles A. Bane, Dan Bannister, Floyd S. Barringer, John R. Chapin, Ernest Cowles, Maynard A. Crossland, Robert J. Coomer, Richard Current, John E. Daly, Michael J. Devine, Duane Elbert, Barbara Ferrara, Nancy L. Ford, Olive S. Foster, John P. Frank, Eric T. Freyfogle, John B. Hannum, James T. Hickey, Robert M. Lawless, Mark E. Neely Jr., Ralph G. Newman, Janice Petterchak, Sally B. Schanbacher, Paul Simon, John Y. Simon, Richard Norton Smith, Rayman L. Solomon, Christopher Waldrep, Frank J. Williams

National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Kirk Hard, Alex Parga

Stephen Perkins, Paul Hayslett, Gray Young

Major Financial Contributors

National Historical Publications and Records Commission

National Endowment for the Humanities

Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation

Senior Partners (Cumulative Support over $5,000)

Cullom Davis; Henry Ess III; Jon B. Hannum; Richard E. Hart; Hart, Southworth & Witsman Law Firm; Mr. & Mrs. Richard Hullihen; Illinois Bar Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. James J. Nance; Sally B. Schanbacher, Hon. Frank J. Williams.

Partners (Cumulative Support over $1,500)

Bank One Springfield; R-Lou Barker; Molly M. Becker; Willard Bunn Jr.; John R. Chapin; Sheldon S. Cohen; George M. Criag; Robert S. Eckley; Prof. and Mrs. Don E. Fehrenbacher; Donald H. Funk; Ginger Harmon; Mr. and Mrs. James T. Hickey; Prof. and Mrs. Robert Johannsen; Robin Kaller; Dr. & Mrs. Victor Lary; Harvey E. Lemmen; David B. Miller; Mr. & Mrs. Ralph G. Newman; Logan H. Schlipf; Benjamin Shapell; Louise & Barry Taper; F. John Taylor; Don Tracy; Hon. Harlington Wood Jr.