Centre dedicates Stuart Hall in honor of alum's extraordinary influence on Honest Abe
RELEASED: October 29, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—In honor of Centre alum John Todd Stuart's positive influence on Abraham Lincoln, a dedication ceremony for Stuart Hall was held on Saturday, Oct. 27. During the ceremony, the Kentucky Historical Society dedicated a historical highway marker honoring Stuart, which was placed in front of Stuart Hall.
Not everyone is familiar with the story of Stuart, the Class of 1826 Centre graduate who set Lincoln on the road to extraordinary success. In 1832, Lincoln had limited career prospects. It was Stuart who persuaded Lincoln—at the time when Lincoln was considering a career as a blacksmith—that he needed to study the law. When Lincoln protested that he had no books to study, Stuart loaned his good friend a set of books, according to an autobiographical sketch Lincoln wrote in 1860.
The Kentucky natives first met in 1832 when they fought in the same battalion
during the Black Hawk War. After their military service, both ran for the Illinois General Assembly, with only Stuart winning a seat that year. Two years later, Lincoln joined Stuart in the state legislature.
Lincoln married Stuart’s cousin, Mary Todd of Lexington, Ky., in 1842. Stuart and Lincoln remained close friends until Lincoln's death in 1865. Stuart later headed the National Lincoln Monument Association, which built a monument to the fallen president in Springfield, Ill.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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Danville, KY 40422