'Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency' author Guy Fraker to speak at
Old State Capitol Oct. 16
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[October 09, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- Lawyer and
historian Guy C. Fraker of Bloomington will speak at the Old State
Capitol on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. about his new book, "Lincoln's Ladder
to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit." Former Gov. Jim
Edgar will introduce the author. The event is free and open to the
Throughout his 23-year legal career, Abraham Lincoln spent nearly as
much time on the road as an attorney in the 8th Judicial Circuit as
he did in his hometown of Springfield. Yet most historians gloss
over this time and instead have Lincoln emerge fully formed as a
skillful politician in 1858. In his book, Fraker examines Lincoln's
professional and personal home away from home and demonstrates how
the 8th Judicial Circuit and its people propelled Lincoln to the
Each spring and fall, Lincoln traveled to as many as 14 county
seats in the judicial circuit to appear in consecutive court
sessions over a 10- to 12-week period. Fraker describes the people
and counties that Lincoln encountered, discusses key cases Lincoln
handled, and introduces the important friends he made, friends who
eventually formed the team that executed Lincoln's nomination
strategy at the Chicago Republican Convention in 1860 and won him
the presidential nomination. "Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency"
provides a fresh perspective on Lincoln, deepening our understanding
of the roots of his political influence and acumen.
Guy C. Fraker, an attorney in Bloomington, has written
extensively and lectures frequently about the 8th Judicial Circuit.
He was a consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary "Lincoln,
Prelude to the Presidency" and co-curated "Prologue to the
Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial
Circuit," an exhibit on display at the David Davis Mansion State
Historic site in Bloomington. He also served as an adviser to the
national Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. A graduate of the
University of Illinois College of Law, he is a past president of the
McLean County Bar Association.
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Old State Capitol State Historic Site, administered by the
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday. During the 1840s and 1850s, the Old State
Capitol was the scene of debate over issues that led the nation to
war in 1861. During the Civil War, the Statehouse was the center of
the state's efforts at wartime mobilization. The building also
provided space for local events aiding the needs of local residents
as well as soldier relief efforts.
[Text from file received from
the Illinois Historic