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- Daily Chronicle : DeKalb County Life
The Articles started December 2007.
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What would Abe Lincoln do today?
By Barry Schrader.................................April
An essay competition was conducted recently among middle
school students in some of the county schools, with the theme
being Honest Abe What would he do in todays
world? The top three winners were from Cornerstone Christian
Academy in Sycamore and Huntley Middle School in DeKalb. The
writing competition was sponsored by Oak Crest DeKalb Area Retirement
All three top winners essays seemed very pertinent in these
difficult times. Third place went to James Waterman, second to
Katherine Hoffman and first to Jalyn Gordon. I was so impressed
with seventh-grader Jalyns paper, I want to reprint it
here, with his permission.
Todays world is far more complicated than the days
of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was a man of integrity and strength;
he believed in fighting for what was true.
I believe that in todays world, Lincoln would fight
to keep American companies here in the United States, so that
Americans could have jobs. Lincoln would see that Americans had
the proper education and skills to compete with foreign countries.
Essay contest winner Jalyn Gordon stands beside his Huntley
Middle School principal Roger Scott
I also believe that he would lobby against the destruction of
American farms so that Americans would not be dependent upon
foreign produce. Lincoln would make sure that all Americans go
green to help slow the progression of global warming; he would
also require that all auto makers build cars that would not harm
the environment. Lincoln would find a way to help America become
less dependent on foreign oil.
Because Lincoln had a strong reputation for being honest,
he would make sure that the banks and auto makers be held responsible
for the billion-dollar bailout.
Lincoln would be a strong supporter of foreign relations;
Lincoln would also make sure that before Americans go to war,
we know exactly what we are fighting for. He would be against
genocide and would do whatever is necessary to see an end to
And on the lighter side of what Lincoln would do, he would
make his own clothing for all the tall people and specially made
shoes for tall people. Imagine how hard it was for him to find
clothes and shoes in his days.
In addition to the savings bond prize, young Jalyn gets to
sit at the head table with Lincoln scholar and interpreter George
Buss this Wednesday night during the annual dinner of the DeKalb
County Historical-Genealogical Society.
Lincoln the lawyer takes a DeKalb County mans
The Joiner History Room has documents from an Illinois Supreme
Court case heard in December 1845, in which then-lawyer Abraham
Lincoln represented the defendant Matthew Nesbit. It was all
over a trespassing incident that had been tried in the DeKalb
Circuit Court earlier that year with the Hon. John D. Caton presiding.
In that case, the jury found Nesbitt owed the plaintiff Joseph
Ross et al $92 in damages. How it ever wound up at the state
court level, I could not find out, but the complex legalese in
the document would be a challenge for even todays lawyers
In essence, Lincolns client lost his appeal, the original
courts judgment was affirmed and defendant Nesbit was ordered
to pay. If some attorney would like to help interpret the higher
courts reasons affirming the DeKalb courts decision,
please be my guest. I have a photocopy of the proceedings single-spaced
and seven pages long. Lincoln is only quoted once in the document.
And he apparently did not come to DeKalb County to meet with
his client or view the land in question.
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DeKalb, Ill 60115