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Hardin, John J.

Born: 1810-01-06 Frankfort, Kentucky

Died: 1847-02-23 Puerto de la Angostura, Coahuila, Mexico

In 1831, Hardin received his license to practice law, and he moved from Kentucky to Jacksonville, Illinois. The following year, he fought in the Black Hawk War as a major-general. He was elected to the state legislature as representative for Morgan County in 1836. In the legislature, he opposed Lincoln's internal improvements efforts and rivaled Lincoln for leadership of the Whig minority. He formed a law partnership with David A. Smith that lasted until Hardin's death. In 1843, Hardin, a cousin to Mary Lincoln, defeated Edward D. Baker for a seat in Congress, but he declined to seek reelection in 1844. With the outbreak of the Mexican War, Hardin served as colonel of the First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers, and he died at the Battle of Buena Vista.

Nancy L. Cox, A Life of John Hardin of Illinois: 1810-1847 (Oxford, OH: Miami University, 1964), 1-126, 163-188; Allen Johnson, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964), 4:2:246-47; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 139-40. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.