Yates’s life paralleled Abraham Lincoln’s in many ways. A native Kentuckian (born in Warsaw,
Kentucky, in 1815), Yates moved with his
family to Illinois
in his teenage years. He studied law at Transylvania University and sought election to the
Illinois House of Representatives in 1842 where he served three terms. He was also elected to serve in the U.S.
House of Representatives in 1850 and 1852.
Richard Yates attended the Republican convention where Lincoln became the party’s presidential
nominee. That same year he was elected
the governor of Illinois,
serving from January 1861 to January 1865.
Governor Yates called on President Lincoln for assistance to his state
on many occasions and often angered other state governors by taking his
requests straight to the president.
his term as governor, Yates was elected to serve one term in the U. S. Senate
of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division