Robert Marshall Root (1863–1937), was a well-known Midwestern tonalist and impressionist artist. Born to John and Eunice Root, working-class parents, in Shelbyville, Illinois in 1863, young Robert showed great artistic promise from an early age. The small central Illinois town where Root began his life was part of the very judicial circuit where a lawyer by the name of Abraham Lincoln practiced law and debated local politician Anthony Thornton in 1856 over the merits of slavery in the Kansas Territory. Root later memorialized this famous moment in a portrait that still hangs today in the Shelby County Courthouse.
Root saw many phases of his life. He saw poverty, wealth, culture, and ignorance. Root was concerne
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