Abraham Lincoln’s first appearance as a lawyer in Edgar County was in May, 1842. The county was part of the Eighth Judicial Circuit from 1845 until 1853. During those years, Lincoln tried 50 cases in Paris, the county seat. Edgar County was one of the most populated counties on the circuit, and his legal practice here was instrumental in furthering his political career. Lincoln was also in the county in 1856 and 1858 giving political speeches.

One of Lincoln’s friends from the Black Hawk War, Milton K. Alexander, was the most prominent man in Paris and Edgar County and built the house in the image above. Milton Alexander often entertained both Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas when they were in town. Another prominent man in Paris was William Dole who served as Lincoln’s Commissioner of Indian Affairs, a position he held throughout Lincoln’s Presidency.

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Paris Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
105 N. Central Street
Paris, IL 61944



Nearby Sites

Paris Carnegie Public Library
207 S. Main Street Paris, IL 61944 Paris, Illinois 61944

Passport Site

Paris Carnegie Public Library was established as a city library more than 117 years ago.  The library has a passport stamp and an exhibit about Abraham Lincoln's connection to the community.

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The Matson Slave Trial
Pike St. Oakland, Illinois 61943

Wayside Exhibit

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln's life and times in Illinois. Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story. Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with. There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

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