Penny Drive-Funded Lincoln Artifact Home in Sangamon County and Ready to View!

A historic Abraham Lincoln artifact purchased through the Illinois Proud Penny Drive by Sangamon County schoolchildren is now home in the Capital City and ready for viewing at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to help celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday this year.

At an event this morning at Feitshans Elementary School, the children of Sangamon County gifted the Sangamon County Minute book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. In the April of this year, the students raised more than $18,000 during the Illinois Proud Penny Drive to use toward the purchase and preservation of this historic document that was in New York.

“I looked under the couch, I went outside because there was money on the ground that people drop and I saved up my money,” said Brook Gibbons, Feitshans Elementary 5th grade student.

State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, who helped organize the Illinois Proud Penny Drive, said the Sangamon County Minute Book includes the written certification to Abraham Lincoln’s “good moral character,” which was a necessary certification for a person to become a lawyer in Illinois in the 1860s.

“When Abraham Lincoln was a young man here in Sangamon County the testament to his ‘good moral character’ was required for him to begin his law career and was recorded in the Sangamon County Minute Book,” Representative Jimenez said. “I am so proud of the children and our local partners whose efforts have allowed us to bring home this important piece of our history to kick off our bicentennial year celebrations!”

The Minute Book of Sangamon County from July 1835 to July 1838 will be on display in the main lobby of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum today through September 30, 2018. Local children and their families are invited to view the book free of charge during this September preview. From October 1 through December 31, 2018 the Minute Book may be viewed with regular museum admission near the Lincoln Law Office scene in Journey 1, Lincoln’s life before the presidency.

“The Minute Book also includes information about some of Abraham Lincoln's first legal cases which is truly a treasure for generations to learn from and enjoy. It’s a wonderful birthday present that can now be enjoyed by everyone who visits the Museum,” Rikeesha Phelon, Illinois Bicentennial Commissioner added.