Friday, May 24, 2024


The Secrets of Lincoln’s Illinois Photographs.

Event date: 3/24/2023 5:00 PM Export event
Jenni Dahl
/ Categories: Events

The Secrets of Lincoln’s Illinois Photographs.

       The Elkhart Historical Society will welcome historian Mark Sorensen of Decatur to the podium for the Friday, March 24, 2023, dinner lecture, The Secrets of Lincoln’s Illinois Photographs. 

      Between 1856 and 1861 there were 32 known photo images of Abraham Lincoln taken in Illinois. From the daguerreotype of slick-haired Lincoln preparing to go to Congress, to the only ambrotype of lawyer Lincoln in his “Matlockesque” white coat, to the newly bearded president-elect Lincoln leaving Springfield, historian Mark Sorensen will reveal the back story of thirteen of these images in his illustrated presentation.   

       Mark W. Sorensen grew up in Chicago and began his career teaching social science in the Decatur public schools in 1969. In 1982 he became the supervisor of records management at the Illinois State Archives in Springfield and was later named the assistant director. During his 21-year tenure at the State Archives, he created exhibits which toured the state, found the 1833 record which created the Town of Chicago, and became the leading resource for the history of the current Illinois State Capitol.  

       Since 1990 he also has been active in the Illinois State Historical Society, served as president for two years, and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. In his 54 years in Decatur, he has served on numerous boards and commissions including the city’s Historical and Architectural Sites Commission, the Governor Richard J. Oglesby Mansion board, and four times as president of the Decatur Public Library Board.

      The cost of the event is $45 per person, which includes both the dinner and the lecture. Reservations (required) can be made by calling the Elkhart Historical Society at 217.947.2238. When confirmed, download the reservation form at, fill it out and return with your check within 5 business days to the address on the form to secure your seats. Doors open at Horsefeather’s Wild Hare Café in Elkhart ILat 5:00 pm, and dinner begins at 5:30 pm. The two entrees are Italian Meatballs in red sauce or Crusted Baked Chicken Breast with Alfredo Sauce. For complete menus, see the reservation form below.

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