Cover for STOWELL: In Tender Consideration: Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln's Illinois. Click for larger image

In Tender Consideration

Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln's Illinois
Awards and Recognition:

Recipient of an Illinois State Historical Society Award of Superior Achievement, 2003.

From debt to divorce, from adultery to slander, cases with women as plaintiffs, defendants, or both appeared regularly on docket books in antebellum Illinois. Nearly one-fifth of Abraham Lincoln's cases involved women as litigants, and during the twenty-five years of his legal career thousands of women appeared in Illinois courts, as litigants, criminal defendants, witnesses, and spectators.

Drawing on the rich resources of The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, a DVD version of Lincoln's complete legal papers, In Tender Consideration scans the full range of family woes that antebellum Americans took to the law. Deserted wives, destitute widows, jilted brides with illegitimate children, and slandered women brought their cases before the courts, often receiving a surprising degree of sympathy and support.

Through the stories of dozens of individuals who took legal action to obtain a divorce, contest a will, prosecute a rapist, or assert rights to family property, this volume illuminates the legal status of women and children in Illinois and their experiences with the law in action. Contributors document how the courts viewed children and how they responded to inheritance, custody, and other types of cases involving children or their interests. These cases also highlight Lincoln's life in law, placing him more clearly within the context of the legal culture in which he lived and raising intriguing questions about the influence of his legal life on his subsequent political one.

"Taken together, the essays contribute to grounding Lincoln in time and place. They also contribute to a considerably more precise understanding of how private citizens managed their relationships with the state and the social order in the first half of the nineteenth century."--Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship

"Daniel Stowell has compiled a captivating collection of essays that illuminate the complexity of the field of family law that was emerging in antebellum Illinois. . . . This fascinating and ambitious project succeeds at every level and reflects the tremendous potential of the historian's craft skillfully employed."--The Annals of Iowa

"Taken together, the essays contribute to grounding Lincoln in time and place. They also contribute to a considerably more precise understanding of how private citizens managed their relationships with the state and the social order in the first half of the nineteenth century."--Linda K. Kerber, author of No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship

Daniel W. Stowell, the director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project, is the author of Rebuilding Zion: The Religious Reconstruction of the South, 1863-1877.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/76bkt4py9780252073397.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
This Book Is an Action

Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics

Edited by Jaime Harker and Cecilia Konchar Farr

Mary Lincoln's Insanity Case

A Documentary History

Jason Emerson

Women against Abortion

Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century

Karissa Haugeberg

Football and Manliness

An Unauthorized Feminist Account of the NFL

Thomas P. Oates

Lucretia Mott Speaks

The Essential Speeches and Sermons

Lucretia Mott Edited by Christopher Densmore, Carol Faulkner, Nancy Hewitt, and Beverly Wilson Palmer

Daughter of the Empire State

The Life of Judge Jane Bolin

Jacqueline A. McLeod

Bloomer Girls

Women Baseball Pioneers

Debra A. Shattuck

Behind the Scenes

Formerly a slave, but more recently modiste, and friend to Mrs. Lincoln; or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

Elizabeth Keckley

Politicizing Creative Economy

Activism and a Hunger Called Theater

Dia Da Costa

Women, Work, and Worship in Lincoln's Country

The Dumville Family Letters

Edited by Anne M. Heinz and John P. Heinz

The Elocutionists

Women, Music, and the Spoken Word

Marian Wilson Kimber

Women Singers in Global Contexts

Music, Biography, Identity

Edited by Ruth Hellier

Lost in the USA

American Identity from the Promise Keepers to the Million Mom March

Deborah Gray White