Local Play Portrays Legendary Lincoln Case

By Matt Metcalf | mmetcalf@wcia.com

Published 08/16 2014 11:39AM

Updated 08/16 2014 11:59AM

OAKLAND -- It was one of the most important legal cases ever tried by Abraham Lincoln as an attorney. Now the story of slave Jane Bryant and her family's fight for freedom are being told on a local stage.

Lincoln's Trial & Tribulations (www.matsontrail1847.org) tells the story of the people connected with the only legal case in which Abraham Lincoln ever defended a slave owner. The 1847 Matson Trial had implications for slaveowners throughout the north, especially Illinois, and those who considered bringing their slaves to a "free" state. But local historians say the case also tells of Lincoln's evolving views on slavery in the United States more than a decade before he was elected President.

Click the video to see a clip of the performance on stage and learn about an Oakland man's personal connection to the trial.

The actor portraying Abraham Lincoln in the play has portrayed the former president at numerous gatherings and most notably in the documentary "Prelude to the Presidency" featured on WILL-TV (http://will.illinois.edu/lincoln), which was syndicated nationwide. The parts of Mr. and Mrs. Bryant are being portrayed by actors from Freetown Village, a living history museum near Indianapolis.

Tickets are still available for performances this Saturday evening (August 16th) as well as September 9th. This event includes an authentic period dinner and a historic site tour! To order and to learn more about the play and its history, visit www.matsontrail1847.org.

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