Image of Hardin, John J.

Hardin, John J.

b. January 6, 1810, in Frankfort, Kentucky; d. February 23, 1847, in Battle of Buena Vista, Mexico. In 1831, Hardin received his license to practice law, and he moved from Kentucky to Jacksonville, Illinois. The following year, he fought in the Black Hawk War as a major-general. He was elected to the state legislature as representative for Morgan County in 1836. In the legislature, he opposed Lincoln's internal improvements scheme and rivaled Lincoln for leadership of the Whig minority. In 1839, Hardin formed a law partnership with David A. Smith that lasted until Hardin's death. In 1843, Hardin defeated Edward D. Baker for a seat in Congress, but he declined to seek reelection in 1844. With the outbreak of the Mexican War, Hardin served as colonel of the First Regiment of Illinois Volunteers. Hardin was a cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln.
Nancy L. Cox, A Life of John Hardin of Illinois: 1810-1847 (Oxford, OH: Miami University, 1964); Allen Johnson, ed., Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1964), 4:2:246-47; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 139-40. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.