Jonathan Edewards

How President Abraham Lincoln obtained a last-minute insurance policy the night before leaving for Washington D.C. to be inaugurated.


Like any American homeowner, Abraham Lincoln was rightfully proud of his home in Springfield, Illinois, the only home he ever owned. All of his children had been born there, and he made many improvements, even adding a second floor to accommodate his growing family.

On February 10th, 1861, on the eve of Lincoln’s departure for Washington DC for his first inauguration, his home in Springfield was buzzing with friends and well-wishers.  But there was work to be done that night, and Lincoln had asked his old friend, Hartford insurance agent James J. Hill to help, because he was planning to rent out his home while he was living in the White House.
Lincoln sought the protection and security of a fire policy from The Hartford.  Carefully measuring the rooms, and even providing a discounted premium for Lincoln’s new wood stoves, Agent Hill worked long into the night to diligently write the $3,200 insurance policy that Lincoln would sign the next morning before departing for Washington DC.
Jonathan Edewards is an independent insurance agent in Pasadena, California who is proud to continue the work of insuring homeowners and business owners, and represents quality insurance companies such as The Hartford, Safeco Insurance, Nationwide, Travelers, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, Stillwater, Encompass, and others.