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Museum Of History Acquires Abraham Lincoln Letter

A letter Abraham Lincoln wrote and sent to Bloomington in late 1859 will soon be on display at the McLean County Museum of History.

Museum Executive Director Adam Lovell said the letter, which was unveiled at the museum Friday, replies to Kersey Fell, brother of Jesse Fell.

“Finally, Lincoln writes back saying, ‘I don’t know when I’ll be in Bloomington next, but when I get there I’ll be happy to see you.’ And when Lincoln does come back, that’s one of the last times that he was actually in McLean County,” Lovell said.

Kersey Fell was a major supporter of Lincoln and encouraged him to write the biography that gave him rapport in the East ahead of Lincoln’s run for president, Lovell said.

He said Lincoln spent a lot of time in Bloomington, arguing cases at the old courthouse, the footprint of where the history museum now stands.

“There’s so much about Abraham Lincoln that relates to various buildings and people and events that took place here in Bloomington,” Lovell said. “It’s really significant that we have it here.”

The letter will be on display to the public at the museum on President’s Day. After that, it will only be available for viewing during scheduled events.

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