Lincoln receiving vault undergoing restoration

Oak Ridge Cemetery is repairing the receiving vault that housed the remains of Abraham Lincoln and his son Willie before their relocation to the Lincoln Tomb.  The restoration should be completed in time for the 150th anniversary commemoration of Lincoln’s burial, which will also include

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A Lincoln bargain

A California store owner recently bought a supposed Lincoln document for $50 from a man who walked in off the street.  It turns out the document is authentic, and worth anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000.

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Two new Lincoln documents discovered

Researchers working on the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project have found two new Lincoln letters at the University of Alabama:

The first is a letter to Lincoln’s former secretary of war, Simon Cameron, concerning treason cases against prominent Baltimore officials in 1863. The second concerns the use of several thousand Enfield muskets captured from British ships trying to run blockades into the Confederacy in 1862.

“It is amazing that in the 21st century, new Lincoln materials are still being found,” Professor Charles Summersell of the University of Illinois Springfield said in a statement. “Once again, the relentlessly diligent researchers for the Invaluable Papers of Abraham Lincoln have discovered previously unknown material on our sixteenth president.”

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Lincoln’s handwriting confirmed in nineteenth-century book on racism

Experts have confirmed that handwriting in an Illinois library’s copy of Types of Mankind is that of the Great Emancipator.  The book is a lengthy justification of racism based on the notion that different races constitute separate species.

Lincoln made a notation inside the book with the name and place of residence of its owner, a fellow attorney named Clifton Moore, from whom he probably borrowed it to study his opposition’s arguments in preparation for a legal case or political debate.

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Digging up a Lincoln courthouse

An excavation in Bloomington, IL has uncovered traces of a courthouse where Lincoln practiced.  Archaeologists are digging at the site before construction begins on a project for the McLean County Museum of History.

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A documentary on the Lincoln Tomb is in the works

Producer Chris Ryder is working with the Lincoln Monument Association to film a documentary on Lincoln’s tomb to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the president’s death.

You can help fund the project by donating through Indiegogo; a contribution of $25 will get you a copy of the finished film.

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Niebuhr on Lincoln and Whipple in the L.A. Times

Gustav Niebuhr, author of the new book on Bishop Henry Whipple’s efforts to lobby Lincoln for better treatment of the Dakota Indians which we featured in the last post, has a piece in The Los Angeles Times about Whipple’s influence on Lincoln and the fate of the Indians condemned to hang after the 1862 uprising:

The Founding Fathers had good reasons for explicitly barring government from inserting itself into matters of religion. But nothing in the Constitution forbids a president from consulting with clerics, and meetings between presidents and religious figures have, on occasion, helped shape history.

One such time came when an Episcopal Church bishop traveled to Washington from Minnesota to try to persuade Abraham Lincoln to make wholesale changes in the corrupt and brutal ways the federal government treated Native Americans. The entreaty may well have saved hundreds of Dakota Indians from execution — and the nation from a huge injustice.

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