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Harrison, Peyton L.

Born: 1804-11-07 Rockingham County, Virginia

Died: 1885-11-15 Illinois

Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois

Peyton L. Harrison was a farmer and livestock raiser in Sangamon County, Illinois. He moved with his family from his native Virginia to Christian County, Kentucky, living there until 1822, when Harrison and his parents moved to Sangamon County. Harrison apprenticed with a tanner for three years, and then purchased a business, which he operated for six years. In November 1827, he married Eliza B. Cartwright, the daughter of the Reverend Peter Cartwright, with whom he would have nine children. Harrison's fourth child was Peachy Q. Harrison, whom Abraham Lincoln defended for murder in 1859. In 1832, Harrison purchased farmland near Richland Creek and built a home there. A year later, he acquired approximately seventy-two acres of public land northeast of Pleasant Plains. In 1841 and 1846, Harrison purchased an additional 200 acres of public land near Pleasant Plains. In 1850, he was farming and owned real property valued at $14,000. By 1860, the value of Harrison's real property had increased to $50,000, and he had a personal estate of $3,000. In addition to farming, Harrison became involved in Whig, Anti-Nebraska, and Republican politics; in 1858, he and Lincoln served together as delegates from Sangamon County to the Illinois Republican Convention.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 359-60; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 7 July 1856, 3:1; 17 June 1858, 2:2-6; Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 November 1885, 8:2; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 820-21; People v. Harrison, 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),; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales, Sangamon County, 68:141, 150, 70:67, 93, 94, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 21 March 1844, 2:5; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 240; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Sangamon County, IL, 370; Gravestone, Pleasant Plains Cemetery, Pleasant Plains, IL.