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Bloomington museum to mark Presidents Day with Abraham Lincoln document display

Museum exterior

Authentic handwritten documents penned by President Abraham Lincoln will be on display at the McLean County Museum of History next Monday and Tuesday in honor of Presidents Day.

Last lines of court pleading fall 1851
McLean County Museum of History
The last lines of a court pleading from 1851 in a case involving a disputed real estate deal. Abraham Lincoln was an attorney in the case.

Two documents will be on display in the reading room of the museum's library: an 1851 legal pleading that was donated to the museum by Bloomington attorney and Lincoln scholar Guy Fraker, and an 1859 letter that was purchased on behalf of the museum by Sharon Merwin of the Merwin Foundation.

Both documents are from Lincoln’s time as an attorney in central Illinois in the 1850s. Many of the real estate and debt collection cases that he handled were in the Eighth Judicial Circuit that included McLean County.

Fraker will be at the museum from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday to answer questions about the documents and Lincoln.

Admission to the museum will be free for all visitors on both days that the documents are on display.

Erik Dedo is a reporting and audio production intern at WGLT. He joined the station in 2022.