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SPRINGFIELD Lincoln documents donated to museum

Published: Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 1:44 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Dozens of documents from Abraham Lincoln's family are being donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, museum officials said last week.

The 77 documents include items from Lincoln's son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Mary Harlan Lincoln, and their descendants. The donation also includes a letter from Revolutionary War-era lawyer and politician Patrick Henry that was written in 1786.

The papers were donated to the museum by the family of Jim Hickey, who spent 30 years working as the curator of the state's Lincoln Collection, which was part of the Illinois State Historical Library and is now contained at the museum, before he retired in 1985.

Museum officials say the donation shines a light on the personal lives of Lincoln's family members.

"As ever more interest and research focuses on the broader story of all the Lincolns, we are grateful to be able to make available to everyone this fascinating supplement to our existing knowledge," James Cornelius, the current Lincoln curator, said in a statement.

The stash includes personal notes from Lou Hoover, wife of President Herbert Hoover, to Lincoln's daughter-in-law, Mary Harlan Lincoln.

Mary Harlan Lincoln eventually became the matriarch of the family, who was known as "Gran."

The material focuses in part on how Robert Lincoln helped members of his mother's family and how Lincoln descendants spent time at Robert Lincoln's Vermont home in the 20th century.

The property, known as Hildene, was home to Abraham Lincoln's great-granddaughter until her death in 1975, state officials said.

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