Abraham Lincoln | St. Louis Public Radio

Abraham Lincoln

Officials at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, known as the ALPLM, are once again trying to verify the authenticity of a hat once thought to belong to Lincoln.

Glenn Beck's nonprofit Mercury One put a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address on display as part of a "pop-up" museum in June 2018. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum loaned the artifact out.
Gage Skidmore

An Illinois watchdog has determined the head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield violated policy by loaning its copy of the Gettysburg Address to conservative commentator Glenn Beck.

The state’s Office of the Inspector General started investigating the loan after it received an anonymous tip that officials at the museum “pimped out” an irreplaceable, handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address to Beck for $50,000 last year.

Mercury One, Beck’s right-leaning nonprofit, put the rare artifact on display for three days at its office in Texas as part of a “pop-up” museum in June 2018.

A bible belonging to Abraham Lincoln has been unveiled to the public for the first time in 150 years.

A life-sized exhibit of President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet discussing the Emancipation Proclamation at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

As Illinois celebrates the 210th birthday of favorite son Abraham Lincoln, officials with the Springfield presidential museum created in his honor hope to keep important artifacts from being sold to the highest bidder.

But they’re running out of time.

The relics are part of the 1,400-item Taper Collection bought by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in 2007. The private foundation, which supports the state-owned Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, took out a $23 million loan to buy the historical treasures.

The balance of the loan is due in October, and the foundation is still $9 million short.

Author Nick Pistor and St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discuss "Shooting Lincoln" at Left Bank Books on Sept. 27.
File Photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The men who took the most memorable photographs during the Civil War are the subject of local author Nick Pistor’s newest book, “Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century.”

At a special St. Louis on the Air event last week at Left Bank Books in the Central West End, host Don Marsh talked with Pistor, who is a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

It’s 1865 once more in the Land of Lincoln.

On Sunday, an army of uniformed re-enactors, about 1,000 strong, will take to the streets of Springfield, Ill., in a somber spectacle recreating the grand funeral procession for President Abraham Lincoln who was buried in the city’s cemetery 150 years ago.

Ulysses S. Grant
(via Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Library of Congress)

Four presidents have ties to the St. Louis area, and each has left his mark on it.

Ulysses S. Grant came to St. Louis in 1843 after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and farmed in the St. Louis area for six years. He met his future wife here; Julia Dent was the sister of one of Grant’s classmates at West Point. The two were married in St. Louis in 1848. Grant led the Union armies to victory in the Civil War, and was elected the 18th president of the United States, taking office in 1869.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Seven score and ten years ago on Nov. 19, Abraham Lincoln delivered his now famous Gettysburg Address. That speech, along with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and John F. Kennedy’s inauguration address are arguably the best speeches in American history.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

In the mid-1800s Elizabeth Keckley was a slave living in St. Louis.

As a highly skilled dressmaker, she was eventually able to earn the money to buy her freedom.

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini is the author of a new book about Elizabeth Keckley.  She writes about Keckley moving from St. Louis to Washington D.C. and becoming First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s personal dressmaker.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Erin Williams talked with Chiaverini about her new book, “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker.”

Mo. GOP Divided Over Fiscal Cliff Deal

Jan 2, 2013

Congress may have passed a deal to avert the self-inflicted “fiscal cliff” crisis Tuesday night, but you might want to hold off on celebrating. Another gridlock could be here in a couple of months.

Missouri lawmakers were divided on the deal. Missouri’s Democrats joined Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer and Jo Ann Emerson in voting in favor of the bill.

Below you can see how Missouri's representatives voted. Both Senator Blunt and McCaskill voted in favor of the deal.

Reflections on the Emancipation Proclamation

Dec 31, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 31, 2013 - On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the most important documents in our history. 

Most Americans think this document freed the slaves but it didn’t. The Proclamation freed the slaves in the states that were in rebellion. In other words, it only freed the slaves in the Confederacy, a place where President Abraham Lincoln’s government had no power.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 15, 2012 - The country is bitterly divided. The two parties, Republicans and Democrats, are polarized and polarizing. And the president’s priorities seem vastly out of touch with political reality and almost impossible to achieve.

That scenario, as familiar as the daily headlines, is at the heart of “Lincoln,” the new movie by Steven Spielberg -- and may be one reason it feels so urgent, relevant and contemporary.

(Dave Blanchette/Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum)

On July 7, 1865, Mary Surratt became the first woman executed by the federal government when she was hanged for her role in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Surratt owned the boarding house in Washington, D.C. where many of the conspirators lived and met. Her own son John was an active participant in the plot. But the depth of her involvement was as hotly debated then as it is now.

A unique collaboration allowed Illinois residents to be a part of that debate and to rewrite a small part of history, if just for the night.

'Prairie Lawyer' sculpture is a family affair

Oct 11, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 11, 2011 - Her late father-in-law John R. Frank had a vision of showing Abraham Lincoln "not as a super man, but as a common man," says Berva Frank.

A Lincoln artist, John R. Frank wanted to "convey in a bronze a young Lincoln who rose to the challenges of the presidency to greatness," says Berva Frank, his daughter-in-law and fellow artist.

Lincoln fans go for record by reciting speech

Feb 11, 2011
(via Jenna Dooley, WUIS)

Winter hats mingled with stovepipe hats at the center of a nationwide effort to honor Abraham Lincoln and set a world record.

Hundreds of people gathered Friday in Springfield to recite the speech Lincoln gave when he left for the White House. At the same time, people across the country read the speech in hope of setting a new mark for the most people to read a document aloud simultaneously.

Lincoln delivered his heartfelt goodbye exactly 150 years ago.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 26, 2009 - In 1972, I first saw the sign in Alton, at the site of the historic debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas. The commemorative marker was a white wooden board on which was inscribed in black letters Site of Lincoln-Douglas Debates

It was seated unceremoniously in a clump of weeds by a garbage container on the side of the street.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 4, 2009 - Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book "The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln," which has been praised as a definitive interpretation of the United States through the Civil War. His other books include "The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008," "Chants Democratic" and "The Kingdom of Matthias."

Commentary: The 'ayes' of Texas are upon us

May 7, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 7, 2009 - The good news is that the latest Rasmussen poll on the subject indicates that 75 percent of Texas voters would like to remain citizens of the United States.

The bad news is two-fold: 1. the same poll reflects that 18 percent of the Lone Star electorate would prefer to secede from the Union, while 7 percent are "not sure" and 2. that the question even had to be asked in the first place.

Analysis: Looking for Lincoln in Obama's election

Feb 11, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 11, 2009 - Barack Obama's visit to Springfield, Ill., on the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth will further energize the small industry devoted to comparing the two presidents. Both launched their political careers in Illinois, and both moved into the White House in times of unprecedented crisis, succeeding presidents considered failures at the time. Like Lincoln, Obama installed political rivals such as Hillary Clinton in his Cabinet. Both are tall, thin, even-tempered, smart and eloquent lawyers.

Analysis: Looking for Lincoln in biographies

Feb 10, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 10, 2009 - Abraham Lincoln is our great shape shifter. Two centuries after his birth, he keeps right on evolving with the rest of the country. Even the casual reader of biographies about our 16th president can see it. Most of the facts of his life are known, but perspective on that life keeps changing.

In his deathbed tribute, Edwin Stanton had it right: "Now he belongs to the ages." To which we might add: Every generation gets the Lincoln it needs.

Analysis: Looking for Lincoln in the debates

Feb 9, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 9, 2009 - The catalyst that propelled Abraham Lincoln to national attention was a series of debates held with Stephen Douglas as part of their 1858 campaign for the U.S. Senate. While Lincoln talked about the “ultimate extinction” of slavery, he did not think the federal government could decree the end of slavery in the South, and he did not support social equality. Robert Tabscott, head of the Elijah Lovejoy Society , writes about the debates, which culminated in Alton.

Budget cuts hit year of Lincoln celebrations

Aug 20, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 20, 2008 - Illinois' ongoing budget problems have spilled over into the much-anticipated events to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

This summer, Gov. Rod Blagojevich slashed the budget for the state's historic sites by 50 percent, or $2.8 million. The cuts forced the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to lay off 80 seasonal workers and to trim the operating hours at five Springfield-area historic sites, said spokesman Dave Blanchette.

Lincoln vs. Douglas: The reunion tour

Aug 19, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 19, 2008 - BEMENT, Ill.- Cowbells and campaign cheers rang out amid accusations of hypocrisy and distortion as two formidable politicians battled for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

The scene had the trappings of any modern-day political campaign, but on this late July morning, the two men in the small Illinois town of Bement were actors commemorating the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates.