Peck, Ebenezer

Born: 1805-05-22 Portland, Maine

Died: 1881-05-25 Chicago, Illinois

As a child, Ebenezer Peck moved to Canada. He became licensed as a lawyer in Montreal and began practicing there, eventually attaining the position of King's Counsel. Peck won election to the Quebec provincial parliament in 1833. In 1835, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, held various offices as a Democrat, and became licensed as an Illinois attorney. He was a merchant for a short time before winning election to the Illinois Senate in 1838. In 1840, he won election to the Illinois House of Representatives but resigned when he became clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court. He resigned that position in 1846 to practice law in Chicago. In 1849, the Illinois Supreme Court appointed Peck as the court reporter. In 1856, he left the Democratic Party to join the newly formed Republican Party. Peck remained court reporter until President Abraham Lincoln appointed him a judge of the United States Court of Claims. He served another term in the Illinois General Assembly as a representative from Cook County in 1859.

A. T. Andreas, History of Cook County, Illinois (Chicago: A.T. Andreas, 1884), 258-60; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:76, 2:627-28; John Clayton, comp., The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1970), 223. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.