Friday, August 14, 2020


Marker Details

Historical Marker:

Home of Dr. Hiram Rutherford

The marker is located in the town of Oakland on the lawn of the Rutherford home on the northeast corner of Il. Rt. 133 and Walnut Street.
Dedication Date:
Dedication By:
Oakland Landmarks, Inc. and The Illinois State Historical Society

Marker Description:
This was the home of Dr. Hiram Rutherford, who was involved in 1847 in a case in which Abraham Lincoln represented a slaveholder. Rutherford and Gideon Ashmore harbored a family of slaves who had sought their help. The slaves belonged to Robert Matson, a Kentuckian who had brought them north to work on his farm. While the slaves were being sheltered in Ashmore's tavern, Matson obtained a court order to have the slaves jailed. Rutherford and Ashmore sued out a writ of habeas corpus for their release. Matson then hired Lincoln. The Circuit Court, after a hearing, freed the slaves.

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