Ficklin, Orlando B.

Born: 1808-12-16 Scott County, Kentucky

Died: 1886-05-05 Charleston, Illinois

Ficklin graduated from Transylvania Law School in 1830 and gained admission to the bar in Mt. Carmel, Illinois, where he began his law practice. In 1832, he served in the Black Hawk War as a quartermaster. A Whig, Ficklin won election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1834 representing Wabash County. In 1835, he also served as the state's attorney for the Wabash circuit. In 1837, Ficklin moved to Charleston, Illinois, and was elected to the Illinois House in 1838 representing Coles County. He won reelection in 1842, this time as a Democrat. From 1843-49 and again from 1851-53, he served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1847, Ficklin opposed Lincoln as counsel in the famous Matson slave case (In re Bryant et al.). Active in Democratic politics, Ficklin served as a presidential elector in 1856 and as a member of the Democratic National conventions of 1856, 1860, and 1864. He represented Coles, Moultrie, and Douglas counties at the 1862 state constitutional convention.

Gravestone, Mound Cemetery, Charleston, IL; Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2005), 1048; 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), 272, 316, 374; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York & Toronto: Rinehart, 1960), 131; Edward F. Dunne, Illinois: The Heart of the Nation (Chicago and New York: Lewis, 1933), 3:496; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: Chicago Legal News, 1879), 110-12; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 109-10; Charles Edward Wilson, History of Coles County (Chicago: Munsell, 1905), 795-96; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1936), 60, 102; 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), Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.