In the years leading up to his political career, Abraham Lincoln practiced law throughout central Illinois. Herode the Eighth Judicial Circuit with the other traveling attorneys of the day. He came twice a year to Clinton, Illinois, where Clifton H. Moore had opened a legal practice in 1841.
Over some two decades the two men tried eighty-five cases as co-counsel or opponents. Lincoln tried more cases with Moore than any other attorney. As Michael Burlingame writes in Abraham Lincoln Traveled this Way, “Lincoln and Moore worked on so many railroad cases that they formed what was virtually a seasonal partnership.”
Moore shared his law office with Lincoln for the first several years after its construction in 1856. Today this fully-restored historical building remains in active use as the headquarters for Moore & Warner Farm Management.
A number of other prominent attorneys who would rise to national fame also came before the DeWitt County circuit court in Clinton during this time: Stephen A. Douglas, David Davis, Ward Lamon, Leonard Swett, and Lawrence Weldon.
Stephen A. Douglas, David Davis, Leonard Swett & Ward Lamon
Moore and David Davis, whom Lincoln would later appoint to the US Supreme Court, formed a land investing partnership together. Moore’s agricultural holdings became the C. H. Moore Trust Estate upon his death in 1901.
For additional information on C. H. Moore, visit The C. H. Moore Homestead, www.chmoorehomestead.org.