David Davis (1815-1886)

Born in Maryland, David Davis was educated at Kenyon College in Ohio and studied law in Massachusetts. He moved to central Illinois in 1835, eventually settling in Bloomington. Voters sent Davis to the Illinois State Legislature in 1844, and in 1848 he won election as judge of the Eighth Circuit Court of Illinois. Among the many lawyers riding the circuit between central Illinois' county seats was Abraham Lincoln. The two men came to respect one another, and when Lincoln sought the presidency in 1860, Davis served as his campaign manager. Early in his first term in the Oval Office, Lincoln appointed Davis to the United States Supreme Court. In 1877 Davis resigned his place on the Court to take one of Illinois' seats in the United States Senate.


King, Willard. Lincoln's Manager: David Davis. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1960.

Donald, David H. Lincoln. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.