Tales from the Vault: The trial of Peachy Quinn Harrison for the murder of Greek Crafton

September 7th, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Join ALPLM Manuscripts Curator, Dr. Christopher Schnell, for the drama and intrigue of a mid-nineteenth century murder trial – including the words and actions of then-attorney Abraham Lincoln – during our next edition of “Tales from the Vault.”

On July 16, 1859, Greek Crafton entered Short & Hart’s drugstore in Pleasant Plains, Illinois, and attacked his sworn enemy Peachy Quinn Harrison. Harrison drew a knife as the two tumbled into some crates and fatally stabbed Crafton. The ensuing trial would occupy several days in Springfield’s Sangamon County Courthouse and a court stenographer would be on hand to capture the testimony of witnesses and the legal maneuvering of lawyers for the prosecution and defense, including Abraham Lincoln. Trial transcripts were rarely created during the mid-nineteenth century and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum has the only one where Lincoln’s words and actions during a circuit court trial were recorded. We’ll use the transcript to dig into the evidence to understand Lincoln’s role in the case and the trial’s outcome.

This will be a “hybrid” event with the opportunity to attend in-person or virtually. The program will take place in our library’s multi-purpose room on Thursday, September 7, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. The event is free; reservations are not required.

To watch virtually via Facebook Live, please go to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Facebook page. Open the page at the appointed time and scroll to the post highlighting the live event. Once you’re there, simply click on the image and watch the live video stream.

Tales from the Vault is a quarterly collaboration between the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum.

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