Crockett, John A. L.

Born: 1824-11-24 Tennessee

Died: 1897-01-30 Shelby County, Illinois

Flourished: Shelby County, Illinois

John A. L. Crockett was the son of Elliott Crockett and the grand-nephew of Davy Crockett. John spent his early years working on his father's farm. In 1850, he was living in Moultrie County, Illinois. In November 1852, a grand jury indicted Crockett for murder. Abraham Lincoln helped defend Crockett in the Moultrie County Circuit Court. The jury convicted Crockett of manslaughter and sentenced him to two years in the Illinois State Penitentiary. Citing Crockett's diminished mental capacities, Judge David Davis and State’s Attorney David B. Campbell joined Lincoln, other attorneys, several jurors, and county officials from Shelby, Coles and Moultrie counties seeking clemency for Crockett. In 1860, Crockett was farming in Shelby County and owned real property valued at $1,400 and had a personal estate of $360.

George R. Dekle, Sr., Prairie Defender: The Murder Trials of Abraham Lincoln (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2017), 66-67; James W. Trent, Jr., Inventing the Feeble Mind: A History of Intellectual Disability in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 5; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Moultrie County, IL, 381; Letter, Document ID: 89442; Petition for Pardon, Document ID: 89443, 89444, 89445; Certificate, Document ID: 89446, People v. Crockett, 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),; Petition of John Kennedy and Others to Augustus C. French; Anthony Thornton to Augustus C. French; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Shelby County, IL, 134; Gravestone, Ellis Cemetery, Windsor, IL.