Bloomington author offers guide book to Lincoln’s legal days in Central Illinois

Guy Fraker
Guy Fraker will present his new book “A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit” next Tuesday night at the McLean County Museum of History. (Photo by Eric Stock/WJBC)

By Eric Stock

BLOOMINGTON – The well-worn backroads of Central Illinois that Abraham Lincoln traveled on horseback during his days as a lawyer are depicted in a new book written by a Bloomington author.

Retired attorney Guy Fraker produced “A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit” as a pictorial follow-up to his book which chronicled Lincoln’s rise to the presidency, which was entitled “Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency; The Eighth Judicial Circuit.”

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Fraker on WJBC.

“Central Illinois is now the tail on the dog in our state, but back then the population was coming from the south, so Central Illinois was probably the most influential area in the state at that time,” Fraker said. “Chicago was there, but that was about it.”

Fraker said many who read “Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency” asked him to see images from Lincoln’s travels.

The book includes 97 images of the places Lincoln visited and the roads he traveled for over two decades while he was an attorney. Fraker told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin it was in those 14 counties, including McLean, where Lincoln laid the foundation for an unlikely political career.

“He never went home, he stayed out and worked the people in the towns building this network that ultimately put him in the White House,” Fraker said. “That’s the importance of the story.

“Not only was he this lawyer – and he was a good lawyer , not someone who was a politician who used law a little bit. It was just the opposite.”

Fraker will present the book Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington.

Eric Stock can be reached at


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