Born: 1813-10-12 Colchester, Connecticut
Died: 1896-06-25 Chicago, Illinois
Trumbull attended Bacon Academy and subsequently taught school in Georgia from 1833 to 1836. He arrived in Belleville, Illinois, in 1837, joined the Illinois bar the same year, and began to practice law. He married Julia Jayne, a friend of Mary Lincoln, on June 21, 1843. In 1840, voters elected him to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Democrat. Governor Thomas Carlin appointed Trumbull as secretary of state in 1841, a position he held for two years. In 1848, voters elected Trumbull to the Illinois Supreme Court, and he remained on the bench until 1853. He returned to the practice of law until he won election as an anti-Nebraska Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1854. In 1855, the Illinois legislature elected Trumbull to the U.S. Senate, where he served continuously until 1872. Although Trumbull was a Democrat, he was opposed to the extension of slavery. While in the Senate, he began to support the new Republican Party and in 1858, he supported Abraham Lincoln's candidacy for U.S. Senate. During the Civil War, Trumbull chaired the Senate judiciary committee and introduced the resolution that became the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in 1865.
David Osborn, "Trumbull, Lyman," American National Biography, ed. by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 21:877-79; L. Ethan Ellis, "Trumbull, Lyman," Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964), 10:19-20; Mark M. Krug, Lyman Trumbull: Conservative Radical (New York: A. S. Barnes, 1965); Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 313-15; Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News, 1879), 163-69; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 1:51-54, 2:618; The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 14-15. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.