By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
The Lincoln portrait in the Boone County Courthouse was taken in Springfield by photographer Alexander Hesler for Lincoln’s presidential campaign.


As part of a statewide campaign to place portraits of Abraham Lincoln in county courthouses throughout Illinois, on May 4 a high quality portrait was unveiled at the Boone County Courthouse. The original of this image was taken in Springfield by photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s presidential campaign.

This is especially appropriate for the Boone County Courthouse as Lincoln’s first high court case was from Boone County in the action of Scammon vs. Cline.

Lincoln had personal friends among the early settlers of Boone County. In 1840, he agreed to help attorney J. L. Loop represent Cornelius Cline, defendant, in an action brought by Jonathon Y. Scammon. Justice Waterman awarded a $12.52 judgment to Cline. Scammon then took the case to circuit court and it was finally taken to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Thus, Lincoln’s first appearance in a Supreme Court case in Illinois involved the appeal of a lawsuit from Boone County.

The best friend Lincoln had in this area was Stephen A. Hurlbut, a lawyer from Charleston, South Carolina, who had established his home and practice in Belvidere. They met in 1847 at the Illinois State Constitutional Convention. They were in agreement on the issues of state’s rights and slavery and became friends immediately.

During the Civil War, the residents of Boone County valiantly defended the Union together. One of the early histories, “Belvidere Illustrated,” states:

“The record of Belvidere in connection with the War of the Rebellion, including the whole of Boone County is one which will be scanned with pride by coming generations. Over 2000 men were sent into the field. Many of them attained distinction in military and civic service, and the names of

For full article, pick up the May 23 BDR.

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