He was born in Virginia, making him by birth a Southerner. He practiced law in Illinois, however, where he met Abraham Lincoln. By 1852, he had become Lincoln's law partner.
The partnership lasted until 1857, when Lamon became the prosecuting attorney for the old 8th Judicial District and moved to Bloomington, Illinois.
Lamon had Southern sympathies and hated abolitionism, but he liked and admired Lincoln. They remained friends, although the two men were very different from each other. VERY different.
When Lincoln decided to join the newly-formed Republican Party, Lamon followed him, and in 1860, when Lincoln ran against Seward for the nomination, Lamon, almost single-handedly, ran the campaign.
After Lincoln was elected, Lamon hoped he might be given the nod for a diplomatic post of some type. This was not to be. Ward Hill Lamon received a short letter from Lincoln after the election.
I need you. I want you to go to Washington with me, and be prepared for a long stay.
It was the beginning of an adventure of serious proportions.