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Coles County Circuit Court

City: Charleston

County: Coles

State: Illinois

In 1831, the Illinois General Assembly assigned the Coles County Circuit Court to the Fourth Judicial Circuit, where it remained until moving to the Seventeenth in 1857. Abraham Lincoln's father and stepmother lived in Coles County, so Lincoln did handle some legal business there. However, it was not a regular part of his circuit-riding law practice. Lincoln's most notable case in the Coles County Circuit Court was In re Bryant, a habeas corpus action in which he represented a slaveholder.

“An Act Supplemental to the Several Acts Regulating the Supreme and Circuit Courts of This State,” 16 February 1831, Laws of Illinois (1831), 45; "An Act to Define What Counties Shall Comprise the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, and to Regulate the Time of Holding Courts Therein," 12 February 1857, Laws of Illinois (1857), 19; In re Bryant et al., Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org/Details.aspx?case=135679.