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Thornton Historical Society to exhibit original Abraham Lincoln documents, other presidential papers

Opening ceremony June 27, 1:00pm

by Melanie Jongsma

THORNTON, Ill. (June 22, 2020) – While today’s students of history can easily find the text of historical records online, as well as images of the original yellowed parchment and elegant handwriting, seeing the actual documents is a rare opportunity. The Village of Thornton Historical Society is making that opportunity available to Thornton and surrounding communities.

The Society has put together a Presidential Papers Collection that will be on display from June 27 through the end of October.

The documents are on loan from the Illinois State Historical Society, and the collection includes:

  • Original Abraham Lincoln documents
  • Currier and Ives lithographs from the 1860 presidential campaign
  • Portraits and letters of 12 presidents
An 1860 lithograph shows the four US presidential candidates—from left: John Bell, Stephen Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and Abraham Lincoln. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

“Experience the events of nineteenth-century American history,” reads the promotional flyer for the event, “including the War of 1812, slavery, the 1837 bank panic, the 1860 Presidential campaign, the Civil War, and emancipation, through the reading of these Presidential papers.”

An Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 27 at 1:00pm the the Thornton Historical Museum, 114 N. Hunter Street in Thornton. Throughout July and August, the exhibit will be open for viewing on:

  • Tuesdays from 2:00–5:00pm
  • Thursdays from 4:00–8:00pm
  • Saturdays from 12:00–4:00pm (Closed July 4

In September and October, hours will be limited to Saturdays only.

The Presidential Papers Collection is free, and the venue is handicap-accessible. For more information about the collection or to make arrangements for a group visit, call 708-877-6569 or visit

The Thornton Historical Museum is located at 114 N. Hunter Street in Thornton, Illinois. (Image: Google Maps)
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.