Springfield Historic Sites - Old State Capitol
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Lincoln-Herndon Law Office

Lincoln-Herndon Law Office

6th & Adams Street
Springfield, IL

Only about one-quarter of the original building that Seth M. Tinsley erected for a store in 1840-41 remains standing. The original structure was a large “merchant’s block” erected in the Greek Revival style, which called for a symmetrical arrangement of features, a low-pitched roof, and pilaster strips.  Though the building was erected for commercial use, Tinsley began renting space to lawyers and the federal government shortly after the building’s completion.  Abraham Lincoln practiced law in this building in a 3rd floor office as the junior partner to Stephan Logan beginning in 1843.  He later occupied this office with his junior partner, William Herndon until about 1852 when they moved their offices to the west side of the public square.  The Lincoln-Herndon partnership lasted until Lincoln’s death in 1865, even though the two attorneys stopped practicing law together after the senior partner’s presidential nomination in 1860.  Before he left Springfield on February 11, 1861, Lincoln told Herndon to keep their firm’s sign-board hanging out and promised that if he came back alive, then they would go on practicing law together.  But that was not to be.  From 1841- 1855, this second floor of this building was also rented by the federal government and used as a federal courtroom, court clerk’s office, and judge’s chambers for the United States district and circuit courts, which held semi-annual sessions in Springfield.