Judd, Norman B.

Born: 1815-01-10 Rome, New York

Died: 1878-11-11 Chicago, Illinois

After receiving a liberal education in his hometown, Norman B. Judd read law and was admitted to the New York bar. He practiced law in Rome until he moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1836. He formed a partnership with John D. Caton that lasted until 1838. Judd drafted Chicago’s first charter and served as its city attorney (1837 and 1838), as attorney for Cook County (1839), and as alderman of Chicago (1842). In 1844, voters elected him to the Illinois Senate as a Democrat, and he remained in the state senate for sixteen years. Judd formed a law partnership with J. Young Scammon that lasted from 1845 until 1847. Judd represented many railroads as an attorney, and he served as president or director of several. In May 1856, he was one of the anti-Nebraska Democratic delegates who attended the Illinois Anti-Nebraska Convention in Bloomington. Gravitating to the Republican Party in Illinois, Judd served as the chairman of the party’s first state central committee, a position he held until 1861. Judd helped make the arrangements which led to the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debates and was Abraham Lincoln’s manager in the campaign for nomination in 1860. President Lincoln appointed Judd minister to Prussia in 1861, a position he held until 1865.

Michael Vorenberg, "Judd, Norman Buel," American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 12:300-302; The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 779-81. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.