Nearly a year ago the Lincoln Financial Foundation started looking for a good home for its collection of Abraham Lincoln artifacts and documents. That collection just happened to be the world’s largest private collection of memorabilia from the beloved president’s personal and presidential life. This amazing collection of more than 20,000 items includes signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, Lincoln’s wallet, family photos and the chair he sat in for some of his most famous photographs – just to name a few!
At the Indiana State Museum, we are super excited that the Lincoln Financial Foundation chose us (and the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne) to be the guardians of these national treasures!
For those who may not know … Abraham Lincoln moved with his family to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, when he was just 7 years old. The Lincoln’s lived in Indiana for 14 years – until young Abe was 21 – and then moved to Illinos, where he eventually became a lawyer, member of the Illinois state legislature, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and, finally, America’s 16th president.
Lincoln’s 200th birthday will be on Feb. 12, 2009! In an extended celebration of his birthday, the Indiana State Museum will debut a Library of Congress exhibition of rare Lincoln artifacts, including our new acquisitions, in 2010.