Logan-Lincoln Partnership

Click here to learn about Stephen T. Logan (1841-1844)

Lincoln and Stephen T. Logan had begun practicing law together early in the spring of 1841 and Logan introduced Lincoln to new areas of law, outside of smaller courts and smaller cases. Shortly after Springfield became the Illinois state capital in 1839 when it was moved from Vandalia, the federal court and the Illinois Supreme Court, also moved from Vandalia.

In response to the Panic of 1837, the United States Congress passed the Bankruptcy Act in 1841 granting relief to debtors, the first federal legislation to protect debtors in nearly forty years. As a result, Logan and Lincoln handled an incredible number of bankruptcy cases before the federal court during the relatively short time that the act was in effect. This increased experience and knowledge also allowed Lincoln to increase his caseload before the Illinois Supreme Court, as well as to personally handle appeals from all areas of the state, during his partnership with Logan,

When Lincoln became his partner, Logan stopped circuit traveling and remained in Springfield, while Lincoln traveled the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Lincoln expanded his legal practice outside of the Eighth Circuit as well, traveling fairly regularly to Coles County, where his father lived, to try cases. He also ventured as far as Clark County, on the Indiana border, and Madison County, on the Missouri border. Most of his circuit traveling took place in the spring and fall terms in each of the counties on the Eighth Circuit.

Logan and Lincoln first had a law office on the opposite side of Fifth Street from Hoffman’s Row, but in August 1843, moved to the Tinsley building, which was located on the southeast corner of the public square across Adams Street from the statehouse. The Tinsley building also housed the local post office and the federal courtroom. Logan and Lincoln dissolved their partnership in December 1844. Logan wanted to practice law with his son David, and Lincoln wanted to start his own law firm.