In the 1840s, the self-educated Abraham Lincoln represented slave owner Robert Matson, who wanted to once again enslave a free, mixed-race woman. Lincoln lost the case, and Jane Bryant and her children were declared officially free. They later settled in Liberia.
In 1842, Lincoln married Mary Todd. Her family in Kentucky enslaved Black men and women.
While serving as an elected representative in the Illinois legislature, Lincoln supported Zachary Taylor, a slave owner, in Taylor’s 1848 bid for the presidency.