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  • Stuart-Hall Family Collection

The Stuart-Hall family descends from Robert and Hannah Stuart. Robert, a Presbyterian minister and professor of languages at Transylvania University, married Hannah Todd, the aunt of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Edwards. Robert and Hannah's son, John Todd Stuart, came to Illinois in 1828 after studying the law and immediately set up practice in Springfield. He fought in the Black Hawk War as a major in the battalion in which Abraham Lincoln had commanded a company. He served in the House of Representative from 1832-1836 serving with Lincoln. When Lincoln passed the bar, he practiced with Stuart until 1841. Stuart was elected to Congress, in 1838 defeating Stephen A. Douglas. After serving two terms, he went back into practice with Benjamin Edwards, but was then elected to the U.S. Senate in 1848, serving one term from 1848-1852. After being elected to the U.S. House in 1862 and serving one term, he returned to the practice of law with Edwards. In 1858, his son-in-law, Christopher C. Brown joined the firm. John T. Stuart also served as president of the Springfield City Railway Company, president of the Springfield Watch Company, president of the Betty Stuart Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Lincoln Monument Association. 

Stuart married Mary Virginia Nash of Jacksonville, Illinois on October 25, 1837. They had seven children: Elizabeth (Bettie), John Todd, Virginia, Frank, Robert, Hannah and Edwards. Bettie married Christopher C. Brown, a lawyer. After John T. Stuart’s death on November 28, 1885, Brown continued the law firm, eventually bringing his son, Stuart, into the practice.

John Todd and Mary Virginia's son, John Todd Stuart, married Emily Webster Huntington. Their daughter, Mary Virginia Stuart married George Ketchum Hall and their children included George Stuart, Henry Huntington, and Archibald Stuart.

The Stuart-Hay Families Papers at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library contain correspondence between several members of the Stuart family. This finding aid for this collection may be found at:

Photographs in this collection include individual portraits of several members of the Stuart and Hall families including Mary Virginia Stuart Hall, George Hall, Henry Huntington, Elizabeth "Bettie" Brown, Christopher C. Brown, and Alice Stuart.

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