SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Dozens of Lincoln family documents have been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, thanks to the widow of a man who was once the state of Illinois’ Lincoln collection curator.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, when he wasn’t collecting Lincoln memorabilia for the state of Illinois for 27 years, James T. Hickey was getting Lincoln and other historical documents for himself.
“As a personal collector, he would occasionally come across something that he wanted to pick up through an auction or something, or that were given to him as gifts in some cases,” museum spokesman Chris Wills said.
Now, the Lincoln Museum is getting 77 documents from Hickey’s widow, Betty. None of the items belonged to Lincoln himself, but were from his son Robert and his family.
“One of the reasons she decided to make this donation now is she’s moving to a smaller home, or to an apartment,” Wills said.
The documents include personal letters the Lincoln family would send to each other, using nicknames like “Muzzy,” “Bugeye,” and “Petticoat.”
There are also several non-Lincoln documents in the collection, including a letter from Revolutionary War patriot Patrick Henry.
The museum does not plan to put the documents on display.