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McLaughlin, Robert K.

Born: 1779-10-25 Maryland

Died: 1862-05-29 Vandalia, Illinois

Flourished: Fayette County, Illinois

McLaugllin moved to Kentucky in 1799 and was admitted to the bar the following year. In 1815, he moved to Belleville, Illinois, where he opened a law practice and married Isabella Bond, niece of Illinois Governor Shadrach Bond. McLaughlin moved to Vandalia around the time that city was made the new state capitol in 1820, and he remained there for the rest of his life. He was the first person to bring slaves into Fayette County; they soon ran away and he made no attempt to recover or replace them. In 1819, voters elected him as the first state treasurer and he served until 1822. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1826 to 1828, and in the Senate from 1828 to 1830. He served again in the Senate from 1836 to 1838, while Abraham Lincoln served as a Representative. In 1837, McLaughlin was appointed Register of the General Land Office in Vandalia, a position he held until 1845. In 1860, he owned $20,000 in real estate and $12,000 in personal property.

History of Fayette County, Illinois (Edwardsville, IL: Brink, McDonough, 1878), 27-28 30, 54; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Fayette County, IL, 21; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 96, 200-201, 205.