SPRINGFIELD – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will take people back to the earliest days of Illinois with special events July 11 and 12 as part of the state bicentennial celebration.
On July 11, our regular “Tales from the Vault” event will focus on pre-statehood Illinois. Historian Ian Hunt will give the audience a special look at some of the library’s rare artifacts from the period, including a French document that was key to transferring millions of acres in the west from France to the United States.
“Tales from the Vault,” presented in conjunction with the Illinois State Museum, takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, at the presidential library (112 N. Sixth St., Springfield). The event is free.
The next day, the Illinois History Forum will feature a discussion of the book “Creating the Land of Lincoln: The History and Constitutions of Illinois, 1778-1870.” Author Frank Cicero Jr. uses the various Illinois constitutions to shed light on the controversies that shaped Illinois. They include the addition of northern territory that literally changed the would-be state’s shape and the years of debate over slavery, which changed its moral legacy.
Illinois Supreme Court historian John Lupton will lead the discussion. The free event begins at noon, Thursday, July 12, also at the library building.
Illinois adopted its first constitution on Aug. 26, 1818, and formally became a state on Dec. 3.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology. It also serves as the Illinois historical library. The library maintains an unparalleled collection of Lincoln documents, photographs, artifacts and art and also has some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.