Lawrence County Historical Society
The history of Lawrence County Illinois touches almost every historical era...George Rogers Clark marched across the County during the Revolution; Tecumseh traveled through its forests; Abe Lincoln moved his family through it and later became a regular visitor; it was the first Illinois county to hang a woman; the first men enlisting for duty when Lincoln called for recruits during the Civil War were from Lawrence county; oil was discovered under its soil producing an unrivaled economic boom, and an Army Air Corp. base was built on its prairie during WWII.
A Documentary Record
of the First Woman Hanged in Illinois includes copies of
the actual documents
found in the court files,
explanations of the legal terms used and the laws in effect in the 1840’s. Newly discovered evidence from her husband’s estate file, as well as interesting facts from the Lawrence County Commissioners’ records may have changed the outcome
of the trial.
Decide for yourself,
based on the evidence,
if you think Elizabeth Reed
was innocent or guilty.