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McCrea, Charles

Born: 1814-XX-XX Pennsylvania

Flourished: Sangamon County, Illinois

Charles McCrea was a farmer. McCrea married Nancy McClelland in April 1846 in Sangamon County, Illinois. The couple moved to Beardstown, Illinois, where Nancy had two children, James and Mary. In 1849, Charles left Illinois for California, ostensibly in search of gold. Census reports indicate that Charles was living with his family and farming in Sangamon County in 1850, though it is likely he was still in California. McCrea was last heard from in 1855, and friends believed that he was murdered for his money as he prepared to return to Illinois. In March 1856, Nancy retained Lincoln & Herndon and sued Charles for divorce in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, citing his desertion of her and their two children in 1849. Charles failed to show up to court and the divorce was granted.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 493-94; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 10 April 1846, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Bill for Divorce, Affidavit, Document ID: 76555, McCrea v. McCrea, 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),; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Sangamon County, IL, 258.