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  • Peter Cartwright Collection

Peter Cartwright was a Methodist circuit rider and member of the Illinois General Assembly. Cartwright served the Methodist Church in Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio. Cartwright became a presiding elder in 1812. He was a founding member of the Illinois Annual Conference (1924), eventually settling in Pleasant Plains. He initially ran religious classes from his home until he donated $300 and the land to build a church building. The church divided into two congregations after a period of large growth, one remaining in the original building and the other founding Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church. Cartwright is known as the "father of Illinois Methodism."

Cartwright was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1828-1832. One of his opponents for what would be his second term was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln successfully ran against Cartwright a second time in 1846, this time for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.

Photographs in this collection include portraits of Peter Cartwright and images of Cartwright's grave and historic marker in Pleasant Plains.

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