Presidents’ Day Display of Authentic Abraham Lincoln Documents at Museum of History
Presidents’ Day Display of Authentic Abraham Lincoln documents at Museum of History
Bloomington — In acknowledgement of Presidents’ Day, the Museum will offer for public viewing two authenticated Abraham Lincoln documents from the Museum’s Archives. The two documents—a lengthy 1851 legal pleading, in Lincoln’s hand, and a brief Nov. 1, 1859, letter, also in Lincoln’s hand—will be on display in the Museum’s Stevenson-Ives Library reading room for two days—Monday and Tuesday, February 20-21. The Museum will offer free admission on both days.
Both items speak to Lincoln’s law career on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, and how disputed real estate deals (the 1851 pleading) and debt collection (the 1859 letter) consumed a significant percentage of his caseload. Back in 2018, Sharon Merwin of the Merwin Foundation agreed to purchase the 1859 letter on behalf of the Museum. This gift was testament to the Merwin family’s continuing commitment to McLean County, and the legacy of Sharon’s late husband, Davis U. Merwin, who was the publisher of The Pantagraph. Bloomington attorney and Lincoln scholar extraordinaire Guy Fraker donated the 1851 legal pleading in 2019.
Fraker will be in the Museum Library Tuesday evening, February 21, 2023, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., to answer your questions. This is a rare opportunity to see real Lincoln documents and learn all about Lincoln’s wide and deep connections to McLean County.
For more information on the documents please reach out to the Museum’s librarian, Bill Kemp 309-827-0428.
Monday, February 20, 2023
McLean County Museum of History
200 North Main
Bloomington IL 61701