Sunday, June 4, 2023


Welcome to the Illinois State Historical Sociey's online store. Over the years the Society has accumulated many books and since it is neither a research center nor a lending library, we have created this Store to make these books available for purchase. Most are single title items in like new condition. In addition to books, we are also offering for sale back issues of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and Illinois Heritage, art work, and stationery. All proceeds from these sales will be used to support the Illinois State Historical Society.

*Most of the books for sale are new or very gently used and in extremely good condition.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to call the office at 217-525-2781, Ext. 1.

Illinois State Historical Society   |   Strawbridge-Shepherd House   |   PO Box 1800   |   Springfield, IL 62705-1800

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Abraham Lincoln Postcard-Profile View
Abraham Lincoln Postcard-Profile View

Chicago photographer Alexander Hesler took several portraits of Abraham Lincoln at the Illinois State Capitol (Old State Capitol) in Springfield, Illinois, on June 3, 1860, shortly after the prairie lawyer received his party’s nomination for President. Of the four known original glass-plate photographs, two were destroyed during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The surviving negatives—a profile and a three-quarter portrait—were sold to Hesler’s assistant, George B. Ayres, who took them with him when he moved back east. The negatives were forgotten until the 1880s, when Ayres, sensing their value, made glass plate positives of the originals, from which hundreds of new prints were made. The 8” x 10” glass positives were purchased in the 1950s by Lincoln collector King V. Hostick, who bequeathed them to the Illinois State Historical Society upon his death in 1993. Lincoln himself praised these Hesler photographs: “That looks better and expresses me better than any I have ever seen: if it pleases the people, I am satisfied.”


This post card measures 5" x 7" and is printed on a linen card stock. 


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