Looking For Lincoln: Woodford County, Illinois


Figure 1. Map of the 8th Judicial Circuit (1847–1853). The solid line shows the route of the circuitriding lawyears. The broken line shows changes in the route as a result of county seat relocations. (Map Courtesy of Guy C. Fracker)

One of the main reasons I returned to blogging was the map above.  It comes from an article on the 8th Judicial Circuit called “The Real Lincoln Highway: The Forgotten Lincoln Circuit Markers” by Guy C. Fraker.  Mr. Fracker is the author of the book in the previous post.  The maps shows the general route the judge and lawyers of the 8th Judicial Circuit in Illinois traveled twice a year from 1847-1853 and includes the location of modern historical markers.  There are two types of markers, ones that mark the county seat on the 8th Judicial Circuit and those that mark the path of the circuit where it crossed county lines.

However the lines on the map are approximate and do not show the exact roads traveled by the men on the circuit.  I want to know the exact line of travel especially in Woodford County, my home county.  So, I set out to try and discover if the roads traveled by men like Judge David Davis and Lawyers Leonard Swett and Abraham Lincoln still existed.

The upcoming posts will tell that story of discovery.


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