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James B. Sheridan (Sparks, 1908)

Edwin Erie Sparks, ed., The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1908), 81.


The art of phonography was early developed in Philadelphia where was located a prominent school. Among its early disciples was Mr. Sheridan, who became a prominent reporter on Forney's Philadelphia Press. Forney espoused the cause of Douglas in his breach with Buchanan and when the senator entered upon his great canvass for re-election, Forney sent Sheridan to Illinois to follow the campaign. It was not the original intention to have him remain throughout the autumn, but the value of his services as a reporter was so evident that he was employed to take the debates for the Democratic Chicago Times, in connection with Mr. Binmore. He continued to write descriptive articles for the Press, many of the quotations from that paper printed in this volume being no doubt contributed by him.

At the close of the campaign, Sheridan went to New York, enlisted as a northern Democrat in the Civil War, attained the rank of colonel, and later became the official reporter of the New York Supreme Court. In 1875, he was elected justice of the Marine Court of New York City. He died about 1905.

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