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Legal Reputation of Abraham Lincoln according to Judge Caton
05-04-2020, 05:26 PM
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RE: Legal Reputation of Abraham Lincoln according to Judge Caton
(05-04-2020 03:52 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(05-04-2020 12:21 PM)David Lockmiller Wrote:  Six years later on Wednesday, May 3, 1865 (one hundred fifty-five years ago, yesterday), Judge Caton publicly stated that “[Lincoln] was equally potent before the jury as with the court.” What was the location and occasion for this statement?

I think the location was Ottawa, Illinois. Judge Caton, who used to be Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, made a speech in which he formally announced the death of Abraham Lincoln to the court.

I will try to find the "important litigation" case but do not know it now.

You are correct, Roger. The occasion was the Illinois Supreme Court Memorial to honor the memory of Abraham Lincoln. On that day, May 3, 1865, the Supreme Court of Illinois convened in the court room at Ottawa. The Hon. J. D. Caton, formerly Chief Justice of the court spoke in part as follows:

"For nearly thirty years Mr. Lincoln was a member of this bar. But few of us are left who preceded him. From a very early period he assumed a high position in his profession. Without the advantage of that mental culture which is afforded by a classical education, he learned the law as a science. Nature endowed him with a philosophical mind, and he learned and appreciated the elementary principles of the law and the reason why they had become established as such. He remembered well what he read because he fully comprehended it. He understood the relationship of things, and hence his deductions were rarely wrong from any given statement of facts. So he applied the principles of the law to the transactions of man with great clearness and precision. He was a close reasoner. He reasoned by analogy and usually enforced his views by apt illustrations. . . . Those who supposed Mr. Lincoln was destitute of imagination or fancy knew but little of his mental endowments. In truth his mind overflowed with pleasing imagery."
(Source: Lincoln the Lawyer, Frederick Trevor Hill, (1906), Appendix I, pages 313 -314.)

I also do not now know what was the the "important litigation" case, but I need to find out the answer to this question in order to grant meaning to another important point made by the former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court that day regarding Abraham Lincoln as an attorney.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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RE: Legal Reputation of Abraham Lincoln according to Judge Caton - David Lockmiller - 05-04-2020 05:26 PM

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