This page is dedicated to Moses Harlan 1786-1842 who served with Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Legislature. The Harlan family in America was founded by George and Michael Harlan, Quakers who came to Pennsylvania in 1687 from England. More info at: Send inquiries or comments to

Moses Harlan

Moses Harlan served with Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Legislature in 1838-40 representing Peoria County, Illinois. Lincoln and Harlan were members of the Whig Party and often but not always voted together.

The Harlan family in America was founded by George and Michael Harlan, Quakers who came to Pennsylvania in 1687 from England. The family history was compiled in the "History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family," by Alpheus H. Harlan in 1914. On page 224, it states that:

“Moses Harlan (#676), son of George (#180), farmer (Friend or Quaker), born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in 1786; died in Peoria, Ill., 1842, and is buried there in the cemetery at Radnor Township, Peoria County, Ill. He was married near Ridgeville, Warren County, Ohio, in 1813 to Ann Jennings, daughter of John and Sarah (Hopkins) Jennings, who was born in 1791 and died in 1824. She is buried in Friends burying ground, Miami Meeting House.

Moses was descended from George Harlan #3; Aaron Harlan #8; George Harlan # 37; George Harlan #180; Moses Harlan #676;

There are several books in the Peoria and Dunlap, Illinois libraries that describe the early settlement of Peoria County. Napoleon Dunlap in the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Peoria County Volume II tells us that many of the early settlers of Radnor came mostly from New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and other Eastern States. Many of them came overland by emigrant wagons, consuming weeks in making the journey. He states that “Moses Harlan was County Commissioner in 1838, and two years in the Legislature,1838-40. His son, George B. Harlan, settled on Section 2 of Radnor Township in 1836. He was a Justice of the Peace for some years and a member of the Board of Supervisors for one or two years, besides holding other local offices.

Dunlap also states that Moses’s sons Lewis Harlan was elected Assessor and George B. Harlan elected Justice of the Peace. He further states that:

“Moses Harlan came to Radnor Township in 1833 and purchased land from the Government on Section 22, the title deeds of his land having been signed by President John Tyler. Moses Harlan was an old line Whig, and served as a member of the Legislature and a County Commissioner.”

Mr. William Logan Miller In the Old Settler's Book in the Dunlap Library states that “In the fall of '36 Moses Harlan moved in from Indiana with a large family. Then they had to build. They took up land south of father. There were three families: Aaron Wilkinson was a son-in-law of Moses Harlan, George Harlan was a Justice of the Peace. John Harlan was a young man; and there were also Lewis and Thomas. There was one young lady Rice McMillen married; her name was Phoebe Harlan.

The first inkling I had that my Great Great Great Grandfather had served with Lincoln in the Illinois Legislature was when I read the history of Dunlap Township. It is surprising that his descendants did not pass along this interesting item.  But Moses died very young and this memory died with him, at least for our branch of his desdendants. I did visit the Lincoln Library in Springfield and read the records of the two years that Moses served with Lincoln.  Moses often but now always voted with Lincoln, who was the leader of the Whig Party to which they both belonged.

Despite the Quaker heritage of the Harlan family, a number of Moses’ sons and grandsons served in the Civil War. His sons John and Lewis Harlan and his grandsons Harrison and Perry Harlan served in the war.

Moses son Lewis Harlan was my Great Great Grandfather.  His biography in the Harlan family history shows that Moses also lived in Pikes County, Indiana from 1828 to 1836.  So Moses like many Harlans moved west as the frontier advanced west, starting in Pennsylvania, then Ohio, Indiana and finally Illinois.

Moses was 50 years old when he came to Illinois, an advanced age to take on a new country. He brought a number of his adult children with him. He only lived to be 56 so it is remarkable that he was chosen to represent Peoria County in the Illinois Legislature.

Moses Harlan m. Ann Jennings in Warren Co., 1813, b. in 1791; d 1824 She is buried in Friends burying ground, Miami Meeting House.


2286. George Baker, b. 9, 27, 1813; d. 11, 15, 1885; m Sara Cornelison.

2287. Sarah Hopkins, b. 3. 2, 1815; living, 1899; m. Aaron G. Wilkinson

2288. John, b. 12, 30, 1816; living, 1887; m. Caroline Please

2289. Phebe, b. 6, 14, 1818, in Warren Co., Ohio, m. David D. McMillan

2290 Milton, b. in Warren Co., Ohio, 11,14,1819; d. in Peoria Co. 9, 19, 1884

2291. Lewis, b. 8, 17, 1823; m. Eveline Chapin

Moses Harlan m. again in Warren Co., 7, 2, 1827, Mary Butler, b. in Jefferson Co., VA., 8, 9, 1797; d. in Henry Co, Ill., 11, 21, 1876

2292 Joseph, b. 10, 6, 1830; d. 5, 11, 1911; m. Araminta Hadsell.

2293. Thomas, b. in Peoria Co., Ill., 9, 23, 1834; m Sarah E. Sterns

2294. Mary Ann, b. in Peoria Co., Ill., 9, 7, 1837; unm., 1912.

2295. Margery in, b. 3, 7, 1840; living. 1912, m. Ross F. Schoonover

Descendants of Moses include Junior F. Harlan of the Harlan Association and Craig Harlan Hullinger as shown below:

John Harlan #2288; ________________ Lewis Harlan #2291
Harrison Harlan #5862;                     ___ Marion Harlan #2291-4
Fred Harlan #5862-9; ______________  Pearl J. Harlan Hullinger #2291-43
Harold V. Harlan#5862-94 __________  Clifford Harlan Hullinger #2291-431
Junior F. Harlan #5862-942 __________Craig Harlan Hullinger #2291-4311

The Harlan Homestead in Illinois.

References and more information about Moses and his family are on the blogs below.

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Craig Hullinger is a Partner in Ruyle Hullinger, a City Planning and Economic Development Consulting Firm.

He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Planning. He is a Vietnam Veteran and a retired Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve.