Lockwood, Samuel D.

Born: 1789-08-02 Pound Ridge, New York

Died: 1874-04-23 Batavia, Illinois

Samuel D. Lockwood received his early education in New Jersey before studying law under his uncle in Waterford, New York. Lockwood earned his license to practice law in February 1811, and from 1811 to 1815, practiced successively in Batavia, Sempronius, and Auburn, New York. In Sempronious, he also served as a justice of the peace and a master in chancery. In 1818, he moved to Kaskaskia, Illinois, remaining there one year before moving to Carmi, Illinois. Lockwood relocated to Edwardsville, Illinois, in 1821, after the General Assembly elected him to the office of attorney general. In 1822, he resigned as attorney general after he received appointment as secretary of state. He became the receiver of the Edwardsville Land Office in 1823. The General Assembly appointed him to the bench of the Illinois Supreme Court in 1825. When Illinois divided into nine judicial circuits in 1841, and required supreme court justices to preside over circuits, Lockwood was responsible for the First Judicial Circuit. Abraham Lincoln appeared as an attorney before Samuel Lockwood in the Illinois Supreme Court in ninety-one legal cases. Lockwood represented Morgan County at the 1848 Illinois constitutional convention, which ultimately reduced the number of state supreme court justices from nine to three. Lockwood resigned from the bench that same year. Originally a Whig, Lockwood joined the Republican Party in 1855. In 1851, he was appointed as Legislative Trustee of the Land Department of the Illinois Central Railroad, a position he held until his death.

William Coffin, Life and Times of Hon. Samuel D. Lockwood (Chicago: Knight & Leonard, 1889), 13-23, 34-42, 98-115; Frederic B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916), 1:208-10; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960) 174; Francis S. Philprick, "Lockwood, Samuel Drake," Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964), 6:1:344-45; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News, 1879), 264-65; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:22-23; Illinois House Journal. 1821. 2nd G. A., 1st sess., 191-92. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.