Were Lincoln’s Aspirations for the Highest Court Thwarted by Politics?

By Dan Bannister

While searching around in my mind for something original to write about Lincoln, I reviewed what my fairly short shallow study of Lincoln’s life could reveal. The only part of his life I had familiarity with was his legal practice before the Supreme Court of Illinois. I had the privilege in 1992 to read, as a volunteer with the Lincoln Legal Papers, the 330 or so cases in which Lincoln and/or his partner at that particular time were involved. My assignment was to read each case and fill out a form with the vital details of each. At the same time I wrote about each case as a short story; the stories were not needed by the project for publication. With Cullom Davis’s blessing, I self published my first book, Lincoln and the Illinois Supreme Court, with every case presented in chronological order with no additional commentary.

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