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Papers of Abraham Lincoln receives $100,000 gift honoring UIS' Cullom Davis

Cullom DavisAugust 19, 2014

SPRINGFIELD--A gift of $100,000 to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln honors Cullom Davis, professor emeritus of history at the University of Illinois Springfield. From 1988 to 2000, Davis served as editor and director of the Lincoln Legal Papers, which later expanded into the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

The anonymous gift will provide support for this long-term documentary editing project. Staff at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln are dedicated to identifying, imaging, transcribing, annotating, and publishing all documents written by or to Abraham Lincoln during his lifetime (1809-1865). The collection will be published on the internet and available free of charge. The Papers of Abraham Lincoln is part of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership.

"I am delighted with this gift that honors my predecessor, advisor, and friend Cullom Davis," said current editor and director Daniel W. Stowell. "To paraphrase the subject of our project, it is altogether fitting and proper that this gift recognizes Cullom’s achievements. Our work on the Lincoln papers is indeed a great task that Cullom nobly advanced, and we are pleased to carry on the work that he began."

Read more: Papers of Abraham Lincoln receives $100,000 gift honoring UIS' Cullom Davis

New Lincoln papers found in the heart of Dixie

Lincoln to CameronPapers of Abraham Lincoln collection adds letters located at University of Alabama

August 11, 2014

SPRINGFIELD – The Papers of Abraham Lincoln announced that it has scanned two previously unknown Lincoln documents from the A. S. Williams III Americana Collection at The University of Alabama Libraries in Tuscaloosa.

The first is a letter to Lincoln’s former secretary of war, Simon Cameron, written on Nov. 6, 1863. The letter concerns a series of treason cases against prominent Baltimore officials. Cameron had imprisoned many of them during his time in Lincoln's cabinet, and in turn, several of them had sued him in federal court for false imprisonment. Cameron wrote to Lincoln urging the president to press the treason trials to demonstrate the government's intolerance for treason and to help Cameron's case.

Lincoln responded that he had sent an attorney to Baltimore to investigate the matter and had learned that the judge did not want to proceed without the presence of the Supreme Court justice responsible for Maryland's federal circuit.


Read more: New Lincoln papers found in the heart of Dixie

New Lincoln document poses a mystery

Papers of Abraham Lincoln finds political motive behind cryptic note with missing sectionLincoln to Swett

March 8, 2014

SPRINGFIELD – The note is scrawled in Abraham Lincoln’s distinctive hand and carries his signature, but little else is clear. When was it written and to whom? What are the views that Lincoln wants to know more about? And, above all, why was a key name cut out of the note?

Historians at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln believe they’ve solved the riddle of this new Lincoln document. It was a note asking one of Lincoln’s allies to maintain a secret relationship with a notorious political insider during the election of 1860.

Manuscript dealer David Lowenherz of Lion Heart Autographs, Inc., in New York City recently contacted the Papers of Abraham Lincoln about the document, which says:

My dear Sir,
      I thank you for the copy of [clipped section] If you can keep up a correspondence with him without much effort, it will be well enough. I like to know his views occasionally.
                                                                       Yours in haste
                                                                       A Lincoln

Read more: New Lincoln document poses a mystery

Abraham Lincoln and the Case of the Mysterious Letter

Johnston to Lincoln letter fragmentPapers of Abraham Lincoln determines who wrote mouse-eaten letter found in walls of Lincoln home

January 3, 2014

SPRINGFIELD – More than 25 years ago, workers repairing Abraham Lincoln’s former home found part of a letter in the walls. Although stained by time and damaged by mice, the letter had clearly been sent to the future president in 1846. But just who had written it was a mystery.
Not anymore. The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, thanks to research by Associate Editor Stacy Pratt McDermott, has discovered the letter was written by Andrew Johnston, a newspaper editor, lawyer and fan of Lincoln’s poetry.
McDermott compared the handwriting on the letter found in Lincoln’s home to another letter Johnston wrote to Lincoln in 1865 and to a note Johnston wrote in 1872 on an old letter from Lincoln. The handwriting was a perfect match.

“Discovering the identity of the author and connecting the letter to a part of Lincoln's life about which we know very little illustrates the importance of the editing work we are doing at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, and it is an example of why I love my job,” McDermott said.

Read more: Abraham Lincoln and the Case of the Mysterious Letter

Lincoln documents found in world's oldest republic

Images obtained by Papers of Abraham Lincoln include 1861 letter granting San Marino citizenship to Lincoln

December 9, 2013

SPRINGFIELD – Even the world’s oldest and smallest republic shares in Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. Two Lincoln-related documents – including one granting citizenship to the new president – have been found in the Republic of San Marino.

Images of the 1861 letters have been added to the collection of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a project dedicated to tracking down all documents to and from America’s 16th president.

The first of the two letters was sent to Lincoln by San Marino’s Regent Captains, the nation’s joint heads of state. In English and Italian, they said that as a “mark of high consideration and sincere fraternity” for the United States, citizenship in the Republic of San Marino had been conferred on Lincoln. They also acknowledged America’s “political griefs” and prayed that God would “grant you a peaceful solution.”

In his response dated May 7, 1861, Lincoln thanked the Council of San Marino “for the honor of citizenship” and assured them that “although your dominion is small, your State is nevertheless one of the most honored in all history.” He explained that the Civil War “involves the question whether a Representative republic, extended and aggrandized so much as to be safe against foreign enemies, can save itself from the dangers of domestic faction.”

Read more: Lincoln documents found in world's oldest republic

On Lincoln's Side