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Lincoln Document has Ties to Donner Party

abraham_lincolnRecently, a document containing a sample of President Abraham Lincoln’s handwriting was discovered among the papers in the James Frazier Reed Collection at the California State Library in Sacramento. The KCRA Channel 3 website reports that Reed, the Collection’s namesake, was one of the organizers of the tragic Donner Party, and the document travelled with the Party on their fateful trip west in 1846. The Lincoln document, which lists the names of several Illinois volunteers for the Black Hawk War in 1832, has been examined by several experts from the The Papers of Abraham Lincoln and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. It was “determined that Abraham Lincoln had written the title for one of the July 10 muster rolls,” stated The Papers of Abraham Lincoln organization.

“We often find documents that detail fascinating stories about Abraham Lincoln’s life and times, but it is rare indeed for the document to have such an intriguing history after it was written,” announced a statement written by Daniel Stowell, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. “That these documents detail part of Lincoln’s military service and that they accompanied the Donner Party to California makes them doubly significant.”

The California State Library is open to the public 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the Lincoln document can be viewed in the California History Room. Filling out a brief registration form is required before viewing.

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