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Abraham Lincoln Museum To Receive New Letter

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will be showing off a new letter written by Mr. Lincoln himself to a friend of his in 1854, announcing that he would not serve as a state representative again. The lawyer had visions of the US Senate and possibly more at the time and was letting his friend know, that he had to be involved somehow.  ALPLM Lincoln Historian Christian McWhirter says that he is thrilled to have this letter in the Museum. 



The letter is a gift to the Library and Museum from Guy Fraker, a Blooington attorney and Lincoln collector.  Fraker wrote the book, “Lincoln’s Ladder to the Presidency: The Eighth Judicial Circuit.” Fraker said that a major factor in his decision to donate the letter was the help that Acquisitions Chief Ian Hunt provided in tracking down a related letter at the Library of Congress so that Fraker could read both the Letter to Lincoln and the response.  Fraker says he remembers when he got the documents and knew that he had a responsibility to be a caretaker of the document. 



In November of 1854, Lincoln was elected to the Illinois House and received a letter from Elihu N. Powell, a Peoria attorney, that reminded him that serving in the House would make him ineligible to run for a US Senate seat in 1855. Lincoln responded by saying that he would decline accepting the office of Representative. Lincoln also says in the letter that he is torn about remaining with the Whig Party or jump to the group that would become the Republican party. ALPLM Exec. Director Christina Shutt says that Lincoln was still very unsure of what he wanted to do in the future.



The letter will be displayed in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery for one month starting July 7th, when the display of the Emancipation Proclamation ends. The library holds over 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history and is located in Springfield.

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