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My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)
Living History of Illinois and Chicago
My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)

Photo Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.896832723710837&type=1

I was invited by, Pete, the Student Historian Program Coordinator to visit the Lincoln Library and Museum for a private tour last month when I judged research papers for the Illinois History Exposition. We were joined by Sam, the Research Historian for the Library.

Our first stop was the Library’s research room. Here is where the public may request materials to study.

Artifacts not displayed in the Museum are stored at the Library. I was taken to the sub-level where there are 6 miles of movable, electronic filing shelves.

The Preservation Department is a very important function of the Library. I was introduced to the staff and allowed to take a few photos. They were working on a few projects. One being the removal of tape residue from a Lincoln document from the mid-1850s. Another person was working on the preservation of the “Members of the House of Representatives of the thirteenth General Assembly of the State of Illinois” photo- montage.

I was escorted into a private conference room where Sam left for a few minutes and came back pushing a cart with boxes and items on it. The painting and bronze statute were in the room along with other historical artifacts.

I was privileged to be allowed to photograph a couple of the items, but not all of them.

The first item is Lincoln’s personal house key to the now “Lincoln Home National Historic Site” at 426 South 7th Street. Just imagine Lincoln using this key every day!

The second item is Lincoln’s personal travel shaving kit which he took with him on trips. Lincoln was clean-shaven when he began running for president. He grew a beard after receiving a letter from Grace Bedell, an 11-year-old girl from New York, in October 1860, a few weeks before the election. Grace said that with a beard he “would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.” Furthermore, she wrote, “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.”

Lincoln responded to Bedell a few days later in a letter. “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin it now?” he wrote.

Little Known Fact: By growing a beard, Lincoln nearly bankrupted a young entrepreneur named Milton Bradley, who had a booming business selling daguerreotypes of the clean-shaven candidate. Bradley destroyed his supply of daguerreotypes and turned to board games to make money.

I was shown (no photo allowed) a beautiful Tiffany (from New York) heart pendant owned by Mary Todd Lincoln. On one side were perfect diamonds covering the entire heart – on the reverse side was a single heart cut diamond allowing you to view the spectrum of colors from the reverse side making it see-through.

I saw a hand written letter from Mary Todd Lincoln after the assassination, written on mourning stationary (paper with a black border) where Mrs. Lincoln is giving instructions (last will and testament) about what she desired after her death. One sentence asked that she be in state without the top of the casket on for 48 hours. She was afraid of waking up after being pronounced dead and not being able to summon help.

Last but not least, I saw 1 of 3, Lincoln stove-top hats. This was an early one, before becoming President. It is made of beaver fur where the other two hats are made of silk. There were two worn spots on the brim, where Lincoln would grab the hat to tip it in greetings.

All in all --- a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary of President Lincoln's assassination.
· Updated on Tuesday


My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)

My Private Tour of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois on the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln's Assassination. (April 15, 2015)Photo Album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.896832723710837&type=1 I was invited by, Pete, the Student Historian Program Coordinator to visit the Lincoln Library and Museum for a private tour last month when I judged research papers for the Illinois History Exposition. We were joined by Sam, the Research Historian for the Library. Our first stop was the Library’s research room. Here is where the public may request materials to study. Artifacts not displayed in the Museum are stored at the Library. I was taken to the sub-level where there are 6 miles of movable, electronic filing shelves. The Preservation Department is a very important function of the Library. I was introduced to the staff and allowed to take a few photos. They were working on a few projects. One being the removal of tape residue from a Lincoln document from the mid-1850s. Another person was working on the preservation of the “Members of the House of Representatives of the thirteenth General Assembly of the State of Illinois” photo- montage.I was escorted into a private conference room where Sam left for a few minutes and came back pushing a cart with boxes and items on it. The painting and bronze statute were in the room along with other historical artifacts.I was privileged to be allowed to photograph a couple of the items, but not all of them. The first item is Lincoln’s personal house key to the now “Lincoln Home National Historic Site” at 426 South 7th Street. Just imagine Lincoln using this key every day! The second item is Lincoln’s personal travel shaving kit which he took with him on trips. Lincoln was clean-shaven when he began running for president. He grew a beard after receiving a letter from Grace Bedell, an 11-year-old girl from New York, in October 1860, a few weeks before the election. Grace said that with a beard he “would look a great deal better for your face is so thin.” Furthermore, she wrote, “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President.” Lincoln responded to Bedell a few days later in a letter. “As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin it now?” he wrote.Little Known Fact: By growing a beard, Lincoln nearly bankrupted a young entrepreneur named Milton Bradley, who had a booming business selling daguerreotypes of the clean-shaven candidate. Bradley destroyed his supply of daguerreotypes and turned to board games to make money.I was shown (no photo allowed) a beautiful Tiffany (from New York) heart pendant owned by Mary Todd Lincoln. On one side were perfect diamonds covering the entire heart – on the reverse side was a single heart cut diamond allowing you to view the spectrum of colors from the reverse side making it see-through. I saw a hand written letter from Mary Todd Lincoln after the assassination, written on mourning stationary (paper with a black border) where Mrs. Lincoln is giving instructions (last will and testament) about what she desired after her death. One sentence asked that she be in state without the top of the casket on for 48 hours. She was afraid of waking up after being pronounced dead and not being able to summon help. Last but not least, I saw 1 of 3, Lincoln stove-top hats. This was an early one, before becoming President. It is made of beaver fur where the other two hats are made of silk. There were two worn spots on the brim, where Lincoln would grab the hat to tip it in greetings.All in all --- a wonderful way to celebrate the anniversary of President Lincoln's assassination.
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