Thursday, August 25, 2011

Capturing A Man's Character

This day in 1860, for a "fifth" and final time, Republican presidential candidate Lincoln poses for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania artist John H. Brown, who is in Springfield, Illinois to paint "on ivory," Lincoln's "miniature likeness." Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice and Lincoln ally John M. Read commissioned the painting because he was "disgusted with the horrible caricatures of Mr. Lincoln which he had seen." Brown recalled, "[Lincoln's] true character only shines out when in an animated conversation, or when telling an amusing tale, of which he is very fond."

John Henry Brown (1818–1891)
Watercolor on ivory, 1860
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Conserved with funds from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee

Stop by the Lincoln Heriatge Museum today to see other renderings of President Abraham Lincoln.

Fact of the day sources
  • R. Gerald McMurtry, Beardless Portraits of Abraham Lincoln Painted from Life (Fort Wayne, IN: Allen County Historical Society, 1962), 26-35
  • Harold Holzer, Gabor S. Boritt, and Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1984), 58, 61
  • Michael Burlingame, With Lincoln in the White House: Letters, Memoranda, and Other Writings of John G. Nicolay, 1860-1865 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000), 4-5
  • Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt Turner, Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), 65
  • abraham lincoln to john m. read, 27 August 1860, CW, 4:102.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This day in 1853....

The Illinois Register reports on the incorporation of the town of Lincoln, 30 miles northeast of Springfield on Chicago & Mississippi Railroad. "The town was named by the proprietors of whom our enterprising citizen, Virgil Hickox, is one, in honor of A. Lincoln, esq., the attorney of the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad Company."

Stop by the Lincoln Heritage Museum
 today to view the original town plat of the city of Lincoln, Il!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Fair Chance

This day in 1864, President Lincoln speaks to 164th Ohio Regiment. The 164th Ohio Regiment was composed of militia whose 100-day term of service has expired.

Photographer: Mathew B. Brady
Date: January 8, 1864
Place: Washington, DC

"SOLDIERS---You are about to return to your homes and your friends, after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free Government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. In this great struggle, this form of Government and every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realized by every one. There is involved in this struggle the question whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose. There may be some irregularities in the practical application of our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion to the value of his property; but if we should wait before collecting a tax to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with every other man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may be mistakes made sometimes; things may be done wrong while the officers of the Government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as citizens of this great Republic, not to let your minds be carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free Government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.”

The speech was taken from:
Basler, Roy P., Marion Dolores Pratt, and Lloyd A. Dunlap, eds., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 9 vols. Springfield, IL: Abraham Lincoln Association; New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1953.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Museum Day!

Commemorating the 150th Anniversary
of the American Civil War

How did Abraham Lincoln, with little military experience, masterfully coordinate a victory to save the Union?

Hear a special talk from award-winning artist Jim Weren as he provides an informative and profusely illustrated presentation on

“Lincoln: the Commander in Chief”

Saturday, September 24, 2011
at 1:00 pm
Lincoln Heritage Museum
at Lincoln College
Admission is free

For more information, contact Ron Keller at 217-732-3155 or

Lincoln Heritage Museum is participating in
Museum Day, sponsored annually by the
Smithsonian Institute to promote visitor attendance
to America’s greatest museums.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anne Suttles hired as new assistant director for the Lincoln Heritage Museum

Lincoln College is proud to announce the recent hiring of Anne Suttles as the new assistant director of the Lincoln Heritage Museum in Lincoln, IL. She began August 1.

Suttles, an archival researcher and genealogical historian, most recently partnered with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Horace Mann to conduct an institute that focused on Abraham Lincoln for teachers from across the country.   She has interned also with the Illinois State Archive Depository at the University of Illinois at Springfield, and actively worked with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency in developing educational programs for children and adults for their History Comes Alive program.

Suttles, a central Illinois native, is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville with a major in History and minor in Anthropology.   She earned an M.A. in History, with an emphasis in Public History, from the University of Illinois Springfield.   Living history is of particular interest to Suttles as she has researched and portrayed in first-person several individuals of Abraham Lincoln’s era.   She credits her parents Dennis and Boni Suttles of Chatham, for inculcating her deep appreciation for history.

Suttles is joining the Lincoln Heritage Museum at a crucial time.   She will be part of the core design team in preparing its new space in the Lincoln Center, where the museum will move to in 2013.    Suttles will also be helping to develop and coordinate special events, creating new marketing and educational initiatives, and will assist in grant writing for the museum.   

Lincoln Heritage Museum director Ron Keller said, “Anne brings a tremendous depth of Abraham Lincoln knowledge, having received guidance and instruction from many great Lincoln historians including Wayne Temple, Cullom Davis, and Michael Burlingame.”  Noting her experience, Keller added, “She has worked in public settings and particularly with the Springfield historical and tourism community, and understands tourism and working with the public.    We were immediately attracted to her experience in relation to education and public history, and she will help this museum advance in many different areas.  She also possesses a very engaging personality.   We are very fortunate to have her.”

Of her new position as museum assistant director, Suttles remarked, “The study of Abraham Lincoln has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, but a personal favorite of mine is the study of local history.  I am very glad that I will be able to combine the two and learn about the community that helped Lincoln become one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history.”

All are invited to visit the Lincoln Heritage Museum, and to welcome Anne.    The museum is open from 9-4 Monday through Friday and 1-4 on Saturdays.   Admission is free.