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Cunningham, James T.

Born: 1802-07-11 Hardin County, Kentucky

Died: 1863-06-26 Coles County, Illinois

Cunningham married Elizabeth Yocum on September 15, 1825, in Kentucky. In October 1830, the couple moved to Illinois and settled in Coles County, where Cunningham purchased land, was a livestock dealer, and served as a justice of the peace. A Whig, Cunningham won elections to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834, 1837 (special election), 1838, and 1840. He and Elizabeth, who died in 1849, had five children. In 1850, he was a farmer in Wabash, Illinois, and owned real estate valued at $27,000. On February 3, 1853, he married Sarah (Threlkeld) Hendricks. A Republican in a mostly Democratic district, he lost a bid for Congress in 1860. In 1860, he was living and working as a farmer in Mattoon, Illinois, and owned real estate valued at $140,000 and a personal estate of $32,000. He assisted in the raising of regiments during the Civil War, and he was a quartermaster for the 21st Illinois Infantry. In 1864, his old friend Abraham Lincoln recommended an appointment for Cunningham's son-in-law, George Monroe.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Coles County, Ill. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 440-42; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 274, 305, 316, 338; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Coles County, IL, 45; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Mattoon, Coles County, IL, 77; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Coles County, 03 February 1853, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Nathan Kimball to Lorenzo Thomas.