— Looking for Lincoln —During his twenty years on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Abraham Lincoln tried numerous cases in the DeWitt County courthouses, including a slander case involving William Dungey. Dungey, "a dark skinned man of Portuguese descent," married Joseph Spencer's sister. The brothers-in-law had a dispute that became so bitter that by 1855, Spencer was making a serious accusation: "Black Bill" Dungey, as Spencer was calling him, was a "negro." In this time and place, if Dungey were indeed proven to have on-fourth African blood, he stood to lose his good reputation as well as his legal rights to his marriage, property ownership, his vote, and Illinois residency. Since 1819, Illinois laws permitted pseudo-slavery and discouraged free blacks from residing in the state.Representing Dungey in April 1855, Lincoln charged Spencer with slander. The case carried over to the fall term of court and was brought before a jury. Lincoln prevailed. Spencer was found guilty and ordered to pay $600 restitution and $137.50 court costs. Lincoln charged Dungey $25 for his services and counseled Dungey to avoid an appeal.
|Series||This marker is part of the Illinois: Looking for Lincoln series|
|Placed By||William Davenport, Lincoln Heritage of DeWitt County|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 8:52am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16T E 333004 N 4446665|
|Decimal Degrees||40.15375000, -88.96071667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 40° 9.225', W 88° 57.643'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||40° 9' 13.50" N, 88° 57' 38.58" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 201-243 N Center St, Clinton IL 61727, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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