Guy Fraker, Bloomington Attorney, promoted his newly published book “Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency” at the Metamora Historic Courthouse Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.
A true fan of Lincoln, he donned a money-patterned tie with Lincoln's face on it.
Jean Myers, Metamora Courthouse curator began the event with an introduction of Fraker, which then led Fraker to explain the thinking behind his book. Fraker said his book argues some of what contributed to Lincoln's ability to become president.
“I don't think Lincoln would have been president if not for the circuit,” Fraker said.
The circuit made up 14 different counties, among which was Woodford County. Fraker said a common misconception with people is that they assume the most cases occured in Cook County. However, Fraker said this was not true at the time, as the circuit had much more people and courtroom activity than Cook County.
“'People ask, “Lincoln was this country lawyer and so how did a country lawyer become president?'” Fraker said.
Fraker said the number of people in Cook County at the time was only 180,000 whereas in the south it was 240,000. This means Lincoln likely gained more support from being a circuit lawyer than he could have from Cook County alone. Fraker also showed his fascination with the historic preservation of certain areas of Illinois.
“The roads we took to get here tonight are the same ones Lincoln took,” Fraker said. “Central Illinois is loaded with people who are connected with Lincoln.”
Fraker complimented Myers on the success of the historic courthouse, as well.
“This building lives the way it lives because of Jean,” he said.
Murllene Kramer, Metamora village historian, came to receive a copy of Fraker's book.
“It's wonderful to have somebody really interested in Lincoln write a book about him,” Kramer said.
This is Fraker's first book that he authored. However, he has taken on other writing opportunities in his lifetime.
“He did a wonderful series of articles about Lincoln that appeared in the Pantagraph,” Kramer said.
To show their support, the Civil War Dance Society Performance Group joined in the festivities, buying copies of his book and performing a number of routines as entertainment.
“Sometimes these events can be real dry, so we wanted to give a little color to it,” Myers said. “That's why we had the dancers perform.”
The various dance routines performed came mostly from Lincoln's era. Some of these included the Black Moccasin, a couple dance that takes place in a circle with the male's back toward the center.
Another dance, known as the Schottish (German for Scottish), is a round dance similar to the polka but with a slower beat. The dancers also performed several lanciers, a late 19th Century dance that is performed in a group.
The next Metamora Courthouse event Myers announced is the annual “Christmas in the Courthouse” hosted by the Metamora Woman's Club. The event will take place 2 to 4 p.m. Dec. 2 with Christmas music, cookies, cider and decorations.
For more information on the Metamora Courthouse, call 453-4437. Fraker's book can be bought from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and various other stores or providers.