Sunday, December 2, 2012

Abraham Lincoln: The Circuit Rider - East Hartford, CT

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Circuit Rider
East Hartford, CT
Topic: Abraham Lincoln
The Circuit Rider
GPS: N41° 45.783; W 072° 39.787

Quick Description: 

The Circuit Rider is the title of a wire-frame sculpture of Lincoln's horse, Old Tom, located at the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront in East Hartford, CT.

Long Description:

Sixteen abstract and traditional sculptures related to the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln are installed along the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront in Hartford and East Hartford. Lincoln Financial is an insurance company based in Philadelphia with offices in Hartford.

Lincoln spent more than 20 years in the saddle as a circuit-riding lawyer in the 8th Judicial District of Illinois. A wire-frame sculpture of his horse, Old Tom, by Peter Busby is near a plaque that tell the story of his days as the circuit rider.

The plaque begins with a quote from Lincoln about the value of compromise and is inscribed:

{Profile of Lincoln}

Walk at
{five wavy lines}

The Circuit Rider
Peter Busby, 2007

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your
neighbors to compromise whenever you can."

At 6'4", Lincoln was nearly a foot taller than the average
American man in the mid-1800s and, although very lean,
he had great physical strength built through years of
manual labor as a farmer, boatman and rail-splitter. His
strength and endurance were great assets when he became 
a lawyer and spent nearly three months each spring and 
fall traveling the 11,000 square miles that comprised the
old Eight Judicial Circuit in Central Illinois arguing
cases in local county courthouses. Lincoln became a bit of
a celebrity, and farmers and local townspeople would
gather to listen to his stories and watch his prowess in the
courtroom. he and his horse, (sic) Old Bob, were welcomed
into their homes, offered food and places to sleep. Most
lawyers would ride the circuit for a few years and then
establish a law practice in their hometowns, but Lincoln
rode the circuit for more than 20 years. Many of these 
courthouses are still standing today and are marked with
commemorative plaques.

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