The Bixby Letter

By Michael Burlingame Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies, University of Illinois Springfield and a Director of The Abraham Lincoln Association In 1995, the Journal of The Abraham Lincoln Association (JALA) ran an article, “New Light on the Bixby Letter,” which argued that Lincoln’s much admired condolence letter was actually composed by … Read more

Abraham Lincoln’s First Visit to Hampton Roads

By Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White In April 2016, several members of the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association joined the mayor of Springfield, Illinois, for a visit to U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, which was undergoing repairs in Newport News, Virginia. The presence of a vessel named after the nation’s 16th president … Read more

Governor Bruce Rauner – 2017 Banquet Speaker

Governor Bruce Rauner will be the 2017 ALA Banquet Speaker. Rauner, an Illinois native, was born in Chicago and grew up in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago. His mother, Ann, was a nurse, and his father, Vincent Joseph Rauner, was a lawyer and senior vice president for Motorola. [embeddoc url=”” download=”all”]

William Freeman, Found

By Kathleen Heyworth William Freeman, born a slave in 1840 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, made his es-cape to freedom when the 1st Illinois Cavalry came through in 1861. Although not allowed to enlist in the U.S. Army that summer, he became “contraband” and a personal servant to Capt. John McNulta. Late in 1862, McNulta, who … Read more

At 31, Lincoln Falls For Matilda, 18

By Michael Burlingame ALA Director Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies University of Illinois Springfield In 1840, thirty-one-year-old Abraham Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd but later that year he broke the engagement in large part because he had fallen in love with Matilda Edwards, the beautiful, “very bright” eighteen-year-old cousin of Mary’s … Read more