Lincoln the lawyer did not bill by the hour, but rather by the job.
His ambling ways earned him the confidence and friendship of
thousands of clients in at least two dozen counties across Illinois.
He rarely gave the impression of being in a hurry. Yet he had to get
to court on time, and used this clock, which still chimes the hours
and keeps good time. He and partner William Herndon ordered it for
their law office from the Chauncy Jerome factory in New Haven,
Conn., in about 1850.
"It is a 30-hour clock, so one of the partners had to wind it
every day, and in doing so he rubbed a knuckle along the side of the
door-case. There is definitely a pattern of wear on that spot," said
James Cornelius, the ALPLM Lincoln curator. "And at least one mouse
lived in the bottom of the case, because a hole was chewed or clawed
through the back."
Lincoln sometimes took his bumptious boys along when he played
chess in his office on Sundays, to give Mary a rest. "It seems that
one of the boys rubbed off some of the artwork on the glass front of
the clock," Cornelius said. Some of the remaining Westminster Abbey
stencil is still visible, however.
The clock will be taken off display after Dec. 31, as the clock
counts down to the 2012 New Year, and another key artifact from the
Taper Collection will take its place.
The artifacts of the month are displayed in the central case in
the presidential museum's Treasures Gallery and include interpretive
text explaining their significance. These displays also highlight
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation's Permanent Home
campaign. The $27 million fundraising drive, established to ensure
that the 1,500-item Louise and Barry Taper Collection remains
together as a collection and is preserved in perpetuity for the
benefit of the public, began in 2008 and continues through 2013.
[to top of second column]
The story of the clock as told by the ALPLM's Lincoln curator may
be viewed at:
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, in
partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and
Museum, offers monthly artifact sponsorships entitled "An Evening of
Wine, a Nibble of Cheese, and A Hint of History." The private
events, hosted by a Lincoln historian, highlight a featured artifact
from the Taper Collection and include light hors d'oeuvres and wine
for a select number of guests. For more information on how to become
a sponsor or to donate to the Permanent Home campaign, contact
Phyllis Maynerich at 217-557-6250 or
Event sponsorships are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the
educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through
the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to
Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history
through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services and
other activities designed to promote historical literacy.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic