Paris/Edgar County

Abraham Lincoln’s first appearance as a lawyer in Edgar County was in May, 1842. The county was part of the Eighth Judicial Circuit from 1845 until 1853. During those years, Lincoln tried 50 cases in Paris, the county seat. Edgar County was one of the most populated counties on the circuit, and his legal practice here was instrumental in furthering his political career. Lincoln was also in the county in 1856 and 1858 giving political speeches.

One of Lincoln’s friends from the Black Hawk War, Milton K. Alexander, was the most prominent man in Paris and Edgar County and built the house in the image above. Milton Alexander often entertained both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas when they were in town. Another prominent man in Paris was William Dole who served as Lincoln’s Commissioner of Indian Affairs, a position he held throughout Lincoln’s Presidency.
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