Masters was correct in saying that somebody other than Lincoln moved for and obtained the change of venue. The attorney who got the change of venue was Caleb Dillworth, a young and inexperienced attorney who charged small fees—small enough for the financially strapped Hannah Armstrong to be able to hire him to defend her son. This was not because Lincoln couldn’t write a motion for change of venue, it was because Lincoln did not enter the case until after the venue was changed.
As a matter of fact, Lincoln got more changes of venue in his 23 year legal career than I had in my 32 year career. It seems that a change of venue was easier to come by in antebellum Illinois than it is today. Apparently all you had to do was have your client file an affidavit alleging that that sentiment of the people in the county was so against you that you feared you couldn’t get a fair trial. There are a few more hoops to jump through today. Here is an affidavit for change of venue in Lincoln’s own handwriting: