Image of Whitney, Henry Clay

Whitney, Henry Clay

b. February 23, 1831, in Detroit, Maine; d. February 27, 1905, in Salem, Massachusetts. At the age of twenty-three, Whitney traveled with his father and settled in Urbana, Illinois, where he began the practice of law in 1854. Whitney was an attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad and frequently sought out Lincoln for additional counsel. Originally a Whig, Whitney became a Republican upon the formation of the party. In 1860, Whitney actively supported Lincoln's bid for the presidency. As president, Lincoln appointed Whitney paymaster of army volunteers. After the war Whitney moved to Kansas and then to Chicago, Illinois. During a divorce case in 1888, the wife of the man whom Whitney was representing shot Whitney. He retired from the law and began lecturing on Lincoln. Whitney later wrote Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, a collection of his personal and professional experiences with Lincoln, which was first published in 1892.
John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Rinehart and Company, 1960), 310; Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 335-36; Henry Clay Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1892; reprint, Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1940); Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1936), 98. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.