Fraker said other pre-presidential biographies of Lincoln allude to his circuit experience, but none focuses on the circuit like his book does.
That circuit, with its supporters, was Lincoln’s ladder to the presidency. In fact, a team of lawyers, led by Davis, gained the Republican nomination for Lincoln at the convention in Chicago in May 1860.
Fraker’s book focuses on the terrain and history of the area and its people. It also deals with the personal side of Lincoln and his relationships with his colleagues, clients and the communities.
The book also examines closely a cross-section of his practice and the nature of his cases. It looks at the identity of the participants in the cases and analyzes his networking ability as he built his law practice and political base. The book follows the contributions of his circuit comrades through Lincoln’s presidency and how he looked out for them during those years.
The book closes with the response of the area to his murder and the return of his remains through the circuit to his final rest.
Fraker, an attorney for 50 years, has had cases heard in the Vermilion County Courthouse.
His book, released in October by Southern Illinois University Press, is “really doing well,” he said.
He was the consultant on the award-winning PBS documentary, “Lincoln, Prelude to the Presidency,” and co-curated “Prologue to the Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit,” a traveling exhibit also on permanent display at the David Davis Mansion, a state historic site in Bloomington. He served as an adviser to the National Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.
Fraker’s visit is sponsored by the Vermilion County Museum, Danville Area Community College and Danville Public Library.
For more information, visit Guy Fraker’s website at http://www.lincolnsladder.com and also www.vermilioncountymuseum.org. You may order books through his website, and they’ll be available in the museum gift shop.