Tuesday, April 26, 2016

COUNTIES AND COUNTY SEATS OF LINCOLN'S EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

When Lincoln began riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Illinois as an itinerant trial lawyer, the circuit had nine counties. When he left Illinois for Washington as president-elect, it had shrunk to five counties. Between 1839 and 1860 it morphed several times, becoming as large as fourteen counties. At one time or another sixteen counties were part of the circuit. Below is a diagram graphically demonstrating how the circuit expanded and contracted over the years:


COUNTIES AND COUNTY SEATS OF LINCOLN’S EIGHTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
1839-1841
1841-1845
1845-1847
1847-1853
1853-1857
1857-1861
DeWitt
Clinton
DeWitt
Clinton
DeWitt
Clinton
DeWitt
Clinton
DeWitt
Clinton
DeWitt
Clinton
Logan
Pottsville
Logan
Pottsville
Logan
Pottsville
Logan
Mt. Pulaski
Logan
Lincoln[1]
Logan
Lincoln
McLean Bloomington
McLean Bloomington
McLean Bloomington
McLean Bloomington
McLean Bloomington
McLean Bloomington
Sangamon Springfield
Sangamon Springfield
Sangamon Springfield
Sangamon Springfield
Sangamon Springfield
--------------
Tazewell Tremont
Tazewell Tremont
Tazewell Tremont[2]
Tazewell 
Pekin
Tazewell
Pekin
--------------
Macon
Decatur
Macon
Decatur
Macon
Decatur
Macon
Decatur
--------------
--------------
Christian
Taylorville
Christian Taylorville
Christian Taylorville
--------------
--------------
--------------
Livingston Pontiac
Livingston Pontiac
--------------
--------------
--------------
--------------
Menard
Petersburg
Menard
Petersburg
--------------
--------------
--------------
--------------
--------------
Mason
Havanna
--------------
--------------
--------------
--------------
--------------
Moultrie Sullivan
Moultrie Sullivan
Moultrie Sullivan
--------------
--------------
--------------
Piatt
Monticello
Piatt
Monticello
Piatt
Monticello
--------------
--------------
--------------
Shelby Shelbyville
--------------
Shelby Shelbyville
--------------
--------------
--------------
Woodford Versailles[3]
Woodford Metamora
Woodford Metamora
Woodford Metamora
--------------
--------------
--------------
Vermillion Danville
Vermillion Danville
Vermillion Danville
Vermillion Danville
--------------
--------------
--------------
Edgar
Paris
Edgar
Paris
--------------


[1] Lincoln became the county seat of Logan County in 1854.
[2] Pekin became the county seat of Tazewell County in 1851.
[3] Metamora became the county seat of Woodford County in 1843.

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