'The Jury in Lincoln's America' book discussion Sept. 20 at
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[September 11, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- Jury duty today
is viewed by many as a grudgingly accepted civic obligation. When
Abraham Lincoln was traveling from county to county to practice law
in the mid-1800s, being on a jury was a chance to chart the course
of American history.
Stacy Pratt McDermott, author of "The Jury in Lincoln's America," a
new book about this vital and fascinating period in American
history, will be at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in
Springfield for a book discussion and signing Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. in
In the mid-1800s Midwest, Americans looked to the
law, and specifically to the jury, to navigate the uncertain terrain
of a rapidly changing society. Drawing from a rich collection of
legal records, docket books, county histories and surviving
newspapers, including many sources at the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library, McDermott explores the enormous power jurors
wielded over the litigants and the character of their communities
during this formative era in American law.
The event is free and open to the public, but reservations should
be made by calling 217-558-8934.
Copies of McDermott's book will be for sale that evening.
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McDermott is assistant director and associate editor of the
Papers of Abraham Lincoln. She holds a Ph.D. in history from the
University of Illinois and is the co-editor of "The Papers of
Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases and The Law Practice of
Abraham Lincoln." McDermott is also the author of several articles
and essays on Abraham Lincoln, antebellum divorce, and the history
of women, race and baseball.
www.presidentlincoln.org for more information about exhibits,
events and programs at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
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