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Shoaff, James

Born: 1822-XX-XX Maryland

Died: 1874-XX-XX Edgar County, Illinois

In 1843, Shoaff married Nancy M. Hanks, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln, in Coles County, Illinois. From about 1848 to 1850, Shoaff published a Democratic newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. In 1851, he hired Lincoln to represent him in a lawsuit to collect a debt. In 1851, Shoaff moved to Decatur, where he published the Decatur Gazette until 1856. In 1860, Shoaff still lived in Decatur, where he gave his occupation as "publisher," and he owned $3,000 worth of real estate, with a personal estate of $1,200.

Harold Holzer, Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), 65; Shoaff v. Thompson, 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),; The History of McLean County, Illinois (Chicago: Wm. Le Baron, Jr., 1879), 294; History of Macon County, Illinois (Philadelphia: Brink, McDonough, 1880), 66; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), McLean County, IL, 1; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 2, Decatur, Macon County, IL, 42; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Coles County, 21 December 1843, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, Edgar Cemetery, Paris, IL.