Thursday, April 21, 2011

Professor notices Abe Lincoln's signature on a picture hanging in his office Western Illinois University's University Television (UTV) Associate Director Roger Kent looked a bit closer at a picture that had been hanging in his office for a few years, he noticed what looked like a signature belonging to the nation's 16th president. Curiosity got the better of him, so he contacted a Lincoln authority: the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

And Kent's hunch proved to be right: the framed portrait included a piece of paper signed by Abe Lincoln.

Many years ago, when the University Union Lincoln Room changed its decor, UTV acquired a number of Lincoln artifacts to be used as props for set design. One of the framed portraits was stored in the prop room for three years until Kent "rescued" it to decorate his Memorial Hall office.

"This piece has been hanging on my office wall for two years, and one day, something just made me really look at it. That's when I noticed a handwritten note bearing the Lincoln signature in a small window in the portrait," Kent said. "I sent a message with a scanned image to Library Curator Dr. James Cornelius, who at first glance said the note appeared to be authentic."

Last month, Kent drove 90 miles to Springfield for Cornelius to examine the note in person. It was there that Cornelius and other archivists verified that the note was authentic, with an estimated value of $15,000-$20,000. Cornelius' staff created a high resolution scan to include in their official database, but turned the note back over to Kent. ...

via Professor notices Abe Lincoln's signature on a picture hanging in his office.


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