Past Event

Abraham Lincoln's First Freed Slave: A Review of Bailey v Cromwell, Illinois Supreme Court, 1841

A Road Scholar Program by Carl M. Adams

In 1841, Mrs. Nance Legins (Cox-Cromwell) Costley and her first three children were the first slaves freed by then-lawyer Abraham Lincoln who argued that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist" before the Illinois Supreme Court. Nearly thirty years later, President Lincoln would sign that Jeffersonian idea into law. Join Carl Adams as he discusses anecdotes from Nance’s life, and the importance of her case as the only African-American to appeal to the Supreme Court three times.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Catherine Barnett, 309.274.2719.