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Current News

Bronzeville-Black Metropolis is Illinois' newst National Heritage Area
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Congratulations to Bronzeville-Black Metropolis for becoming Illinois’ newest National Heritage Area. Welcome to the NPS family!

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New Philadelphia Becomes Part of the National Park Service
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Congratulations to the New Philadelphia historic site, on becoming a unit of the National Park Service! Welcome to the NPS family!

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McClean Museum to dedicate new Lincoln Funeral Train Marker
Thursday, April 14, 2022

Commemorating the 157th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination, The McLean County Museum of History will dedicate a new “Looking for Lincoln” historical marker near the site of the old Bloomington Train Depot of the Chicago & Alton railroad.

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Upcoming Events

Maid of All Work: The Women Who Worked for the Lincolns
Wednesday, March 1, 2023 7:00 PM

Like most middle-class women of her time, Mary Lincoln relied on hired help to manage her household. These women worked and sometimes lived in her house, cleaning, cooking, and caring for the children alongside her. Who were these women? What were their duties? What was their experience like within the household? What were the Lincolns experiences living and working intimately with a cross-section of society that they might never have encountered otherwise? Drawing on letters, reminiscences, and county records, University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon Experience Director and Curator, will examine the nature of domestic service in the Lincoln household in Springfield, Illinois, to attempt to answer these questions. In doing so this program aspires not only to establish a social and cultural context for the Lincolns’ experience but to flesh out the experiences of working-class women who are often on the margins or outright invisible to history.

"Mr. Lincoln gave [me] an extra dollar each week on condition that she would brave whatever storms might arise, and suffer whatever might arise, and suffer whatever might befall her, without complaint.” -Miss. Mary Johnson

Anne E. Moseley is the first Director of Engagement and Curator of the Sangamon Experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and a Master’s degree in Public History from the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS). Before she began her position at UIS, she was the director and curator of the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College. Anne was awarded the Illinois State Historical Society’s Malkovich Award for Young Museum Professional in 2015 for her outstanding contribution to Collections Management and Exhibit development at the Lincoln Heritage Museum. Her research focuses on Lincoln's life in Illinois and the social history of antebellum Illinois. Recently she has been writing a book called A Maid of All Work: the women who worked for the Lincolns. She has published an article for the Sangamon Link, The Lochridge brothers, Pawnee merchants. Moseley currently serves as an advisory board member for the Lincoln Forum, National Association for Interpretation Region 5 member, and a steering council member for the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

This program will livestream on Looking for Lincoln's Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The event is FREE. Please do not click on any links that take you to pay page. Our free Facebook events will never ask you for a credit card. If you have trouble finding the event, check the main news feed on the page, and do not click on links in the comments. 

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More than Just the Almanac: Abraham Lincoln & The Duff Armstrong Murder Case
Wednesday, April 12, 2023 7:00 PM

The almanac trial is probably Abraham Lincoln’s most famous case. Immortalized by Young Mr. Lincoln in 1939 starring Henry Fonda, the movie portrays a prosecution witness who saw the killing under the bright light of the moon.  During the trial, Lincoln earned an acquittal for his client when he used a farmer’s almanac to show the moon was not up at the time of the murder. Did Hollywood get it right?Join John Lupton and Dr. Samuel Wheeler from the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission to shed some “moon” light on the Armstrong murder trial of 1857.

John Lupton is the Executive Director of the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission. Samuel Wheeler is the Director of History Programs for the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission.

This program will livestream on Looking for Lincoln's Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The event is FREE. Please do not click on any links that take you to pay page. Our free Facebook events will never ask you for a credit card. If you have trouble finding the event, check the main news feed on the page, and do not click on links in the comments. 

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Toward the Sunset: The Homestead Act and Abraham Lincoln's Legacy in the West
Wednesday, May 10, 2023 7:00 PM

In 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law promising U.S. citizens and immigrants free land in the West. The Homestead Act is one of the most important social policies ever enacted in the U.S. and it combined with the 13th and 14th amendments to give Black Americans an opportunity to own land after the Civil War. In total, 270 million acres were distributed through the Homestead Act. Join Dr. Jacob Friefeld from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum as he discusses this important part of the Lincoln legacy.

Dr. Jacob Friefeld is a historian and a writer. His book, Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History, challenges the scholarly consensus about Homestead Act of 1862. His forthcoming book, The First Migrants: How Black Homesteaders’ Quest for Land and Freedom Heralded America’s Great Migration, tells the epic story of Black Americans homesteading in the Great Plains after the Civil War.

Friefeld has a passion for making history accessible for broad audiences through his writing, public speaking, and work at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum where he serves as the Illinois and Midwest Studies Research Historian.

This program will livestream on Looking for Lincoln's Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The event is FREE. Please do not click on any links that take you to pay page. Our free Facebook events will never ask you for a credit card. If you have trouble finding the event, check the main news feed on the page, and do not click on links in the comments.

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Full Schedule of Events

Regional Highlight

Abraham Lincoln advocated for the construction, use, and expansion of the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The Lincoln family first traveled on the Illinois & Michigan Canal from Chicago to LaSalle, Illinois on a canal packet boat in October of 1848. Because roads were poor and the railroads had not yet been built, the canal was the best way to travel from Chicago to LaSalle.

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