Eric Dirnbeck, Franklin County public defender and a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, made book deliveries to Benton and West Frankfort public libraries on Tuesday.
Speaking on behalf of Mt. Vernon attorney Mark Hassakis, Dirnbeck said the book purchase was a collaborative effort.
"In partnership with our charitable affiliate, the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Illinois State Bar Association purchased enough sets for all 102 counties as a contribution to the Illinois Bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth," Dirnbeck said. "By an act of Congress and by proclamation of the president, our nation celebrated the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth from Feb. 12, 2009, through today.
"Before he was a great president, Abraham Lincoln was first and foremost a great lawyer," Dirnbeck said. "And so, it is fitting that the Illinois State Bar Association would honor that occasion with a series of activities."
One of the projects was the association's support of the Lincoln Legal Papers.
"Thousands of documents relating to Lincoln's 25-year legal career were assembled and made available to Lincoln scholars everywhere," Dirnbeck said. "As a highlight of that effort, a four-volume set of hardcover books on Lincoln's 50 most prominent cases has just been published by the Lincoln Presidential Library.
"In partnership with the Illinois Bar Foundation, we are making a copy of that important set available to a public library in each county throughout Illinois," Dirnbeck said. "‘The Papers of Abraham Lincoln’ is a lasting tribute to the most revered lawyer in the history of our state and nation."
Hassakis is the president-elect of the ISBA and was called away to a trial date, Dirnbeck said.
Richard T. Lewis, Judge Loren P. Lewis, David B. Garavalia and Tracy L. Prosser were among those attending the book presentation.