Lincoln Heritage Museum welcomes historian, author Guy Fraker
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[October 15, 2012]
The Lincoln Heritage Museum is
hosting a presentation and book sale/signing by historian and author
Guy Fraker on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the museum, located on the campus
of Lincoln College.
Fraker's presentation accompanies his newly released publication,
"Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit."
Fraker is an attorney from Bloomington. His book follows from his
years of research on Abraham Lincoln's time as a circuit-riding
lawyer and has been greatly anticipated by Lincoln scholars.
Throughout his 23-year legal career, Abraham Lincoln spent nearly as
much time on the road as an attorney for the 8th Judicial Circuit as
he did in his hometown of Springfield. Yet most historians gloss
over the time and instead have Lincoln emerge fully formed as a
skillful politician in 1858.
In this innovative volume, Fraker provides the first-ever study
of Lincoln's professional and personal home away from home and
demonstrates how the 8th Judicial Circuit and its people propelled
Lincoln to the presidency.
Though it fluctuated in size through the years, the 8th Judicial
Circuit, which existed from the late 1830s to the 1860s, comprised
most of the county courthouses in central Illinois. Logan County was
included, and Abraham Lincoln practiced law in courthouses in
Postville, Mount Pulaski and then in Lincoln as the location of the
county seat changed during that time.
Fraker describes the people and counties that the future
president encountered, discusses key cases Lincoln handled and
introduces the important friends he made -- friends who eventually
won him the presidential nomination in 1860.
As Fraker shows, the 8th Judicial Circuit provided the perfect
setting for the growth and ascension of Lincoln. A complete portrait
of the 16th president depends on a full understanding of his
experience on the circuit, and "Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency"
provides a deeper understanding of the roots of his political
influence and acumen.
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Fraker has garnered advance praise for his book. John Hoffman,
curator of the Lincoln collections at the University of Illinois,
remarked about the book: "Drawing together both contemporary and
reminiscent sources, and bringing a sense of place to each locale on
the circuit, Fraker provides a comprehensive view of Lincoln's life
in law and politics on the Illinois prairie."
Fraker served as consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary
"Lincoln, Prelude to the Presidency." A graduate of the University
of Illinois College of Law, he is a past president of the McLean
County Bar Association. He is widely considered the foremost expert
on Lincoln's time on the circuit.
The presentation is free, and books will be available for sale
afterward for $34.95 plus tax.
For more information, contact Ron Keller at the Lincoln Heritage
Museum at 217-732-3155 or
[Text from file received from