For the Public

Events to Accompany Lincoln Statue Dedication At Historic Courthouse in Mt. Vernon

Chris Ruys (312) 337-7746, e-mail:
For Immediate Release: 
September 15, 2008

The dedication of a nine-foot bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer will take place outside the Appellate Courthouse in Mt. Vernon on Thursday, September 18, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. The courthouse, constructed beginning in 1854, housed the Illinois Supreme Court when Lincoln argued a noted case there on behalf of Illinois Central Railroad.

The larger than lifesize sculpture was commissioned by the Mt. Vernon Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Committee, and the effort has involved many people in Mt. Vernon and surrounding areas. Events planned on September 18 will involve citizens and officials statewide.

Prior to the unveiling of the statue, the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) will present a panel discussion highlighting Lincoln’s career as a lawyer. The panel will be conducted in the historic courtroom where Lincoln argued, and will be moderated by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar. Panelists are Abraham Lincoln scholars involved in “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln” project: Daniel Stowell, the editor, and assistant editors John Lupton and Stacy Pratt McDermott. “The Papers of Abraham Lincoln” is a long-term project dedicated to identifying, imaging, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his entire lifetime (1809-1865).

In the afternoon, members of the Illinois Supreme Court will conduct a formal session of court in the courtroom.

Among dignitaries expected at the day’s festivities are all seven justices of the Supreme Court of Illinois, Appellate Court judges, local officials and the leadership of the ISBA, including President Jack C. Carey, of Belleville, and ISBA second vice president Mark Hassakis, of Mt. Vernon.

The unveiling ceremony will be conducted on the east side of the courthouse, noted for its outdoor winding staircases, and is open to the public.

# # #