January roundtable group gears up to learn about Lincoln



The Hamilton County Civil War Roundtable will host Dr. Brian Dirck on Jan. 21 to speak on the topic of “Lincoln’s Law Practice.” He will cover Lincoln from the time he arrived in Indiana at age 6, until he left at age 21. These were some of the most important, informative years of his life, and Dirck will address just what Lincoln saw and did while a Hoosier: his upbringing, education (or lack thereof), relationships with his parents and neighbors, and some of the social, cultural and religious influences of his Indiana life on his later years as a politician and president.

Dirck’s most recent writing, “Lincoln the Lawyer” explores the origins of Lincoln’s desire to practice law, his legal education, his partnerships with John Stuart, Stephen Logan, and William Herndon, and the maturation of his far-flung practice in the 1840s and 1850s. Dirck provides a context for law as it was practiced in mid-century Illinois and evaluates Lincoln’s merits as an attorney by comparison with his peers. This history also examines Lincoln’s clientele, how he charged his clients, and how he addressed judge and jury, as well as his views on legal ethics and the supposition that he never defended a client he knew to be guilty.

Future presentations to be hosted by the Hamilton County Civil War Roundable include: Feb. 18, Phil DeHaven on “The woman who would be first lady;” March 18, Mary Anne Matthews, “Mrs. President: A visit with Mary Todd Lincoln;” April 15, Dave Walker, “Portraying Jeff Davis;” May 20, Margaret Hobson, “The iron men of Indiana’s 44th Regiment.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. in the Lily Theatre of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, 13400 Allisonville Rd. There is no charge for the event and guests are welcome.