Image of Conkling, James C.

Conkling, James C.

b. October 13, 1816, in New York, New York; d. March 1, 1899, in Springfield, Illinois. Conkling graduated from Princeton University in 1836 and moved to Springfield in 1838. In 1839, he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law. He formed a legal partnership with Cyrus Walker and later with James Shields. He was active in Whig party politics and was elected as mayor of Springfield in 1842. Conkling was also elected as a member of the state legislature in 1851 and then again in 1866. He was one of the delegates sent to the first Republican state convention in 1856. Conkling actively campaigned in 1860 in Pennsylvania for Lincoln's election to the presidency and was a presidential elector in both the 1860 and 1864 presidential elections. When Mary Todd Lincoln died in 1882, Conkling was one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
Frederick B. Crossley, Courts and Lawyers of Illinois (Chicago: American Historical Society, 1916), 1:191; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995); John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960); Mark E. Neely Jr, The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 68-69; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:190; United States Biographical Dictionary: Illinois Dictionary (Chicago: American Biographical Dictionary, 1876), 159-60. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.