"Thousands of people will be coming to Springfield this weekend,
many for the first time. This is a great opportunity for people to
learn about one of our nation's most important and influential
leaders, and to do so right in the community where he lived," the
The new temporary exhibit, which will be on display at the Old
State Capitol State Historic Site Friday, February 9 from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m.; Saturday, February 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Monday,
February 12 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., features original documents and
artifacts pertaining to Abraham Lincoln's 1858 U.S. Senate and 1860
Presidential campaigns. The exhibit shows that Lincoln was worried
that the news media would misrepresent his intentions, was very
conscious of his public image, urged campaign workers to lobby for
every single vote, and signed autographs for potential supporters.
The items are from the collections of the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum. They include:
Lincoln's June 16,
1858 "House Divided" speech delivered in the Old State Capitol,
in which he declared "A house divided against itself cannot
stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half
slave and half free."
A letter to
newspaper editor John L. Scripps about his "House Divided"
speech in which Lincoln complains, "I am much mortified that any
part of [my speech] should be construed so differently from any
thing intended by me."
Lincoln's notes for
his September 15, 1858 debate with Stephen A. Douglas in
A note to fellow
politician Martin P. Sweet, assuring him that remarks made
during the Jonesboro debate intended no disrespect to Sweet: "[B]ut
my fear now is, that those villainous reporters Douglas has with
him will try to make something out of it."
Writing to a
supporter after his 1858 U.S. Senate campaign defeat, Lincoln
wrote: "The cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at
the end of one, or even, one hundred defeats."
A bright blue 1860
presidential campaign ribbon worn by Lincoln's Springfield
An August 24, 1860
autographed note written for a potential supporter.
A letter to
campaign organizer Alexander McClure in which Lincoln urges him
to be actively "canvassing" and "counting noses."
A late 1860
photograph of the president-elect that shows he has just started
growing a beard.
letter written as president-elect in which Lincoln tells
Congressman William Kellogg, "Entertain no proposition for a
compromise in regard to the extension of slavery."
An early printed
draft of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address.
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Visitors to Springfield this weekend can also experience the
world-class Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, which just hosted
its one millionth visitor after less than two years of operation. It
is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and features the new temporary
exhibit, "Tales from the Crypt: A History of the Lincoln Tomb."
Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for senior citizens and $3.50
The Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices State Historic Site, at the
corner of Sixth and Adams in downtown Springfield, is the only
surviving structure where Abraham Lincoln maintained working law
offices. It is open free of charge Tuesday through Saturday from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Lincoln Home National Historic Site at 426 S. Seventh is open
daily free of charge from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Lincoln family
lived there from 1844-1861.
The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Springfield's Oak Ridge
Cemetery is the final resting place of President and Mrs. Lincoln
and three of their four sons. It is open daily free of charge from 9
a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Dana-Thomas House at Fourth and
Lawrence is the most complete and fully restored of the famed
architect's Prairie style dwellings. Abraham Lincoln once owned the
plot of land it sits on. Free tours are offered Wednesday through
Sunday starting at 9 a.m. with the last tour leaving at 4 p.m.
The Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site at 603 S. Fifth
Street is the birthplace and home of the poet and artist. Before the
Lindsays acquired the house, Mary Todd Lincoln's younger sister Anne
and her husband, C.M. Clark, lived there. Mary and her husband were
frequent visitors. A grand reception was held there for and with the
president-elect in attendance the night before he left for
Washington, D.C. with Mary and their children to assume his new
responsibilities as chief executive during those trying times. The
Vachel Lindsay Home is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4
p.m. for free tours.
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site is a recreation of the
1830s log village where Abraham Lincoln lived for six years. It is
located 20 miles northwest of Springfield along Illinois Route 97
and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
copied from file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information)