Debt for Lincoln Items Might Force Sale of Artifacts

May 11, 2018

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois
Credit Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says it might have to sell artifacts if it can't pay off a decade-old loan that financed items related to the 16th president.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has revealed it owes $10 million on a 2007 loan it obtained for the well-known Barry and Louise Taper Collection of Lincoln-related items. It includes a stovepipe hat purportedly worn by Lincoln, bloodstained gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, and an 1824 book containing the first known example of his handwriting.

The foundation paid $25 million and borrowed $23 million. The note comes due in October 2019. Springfield Republican Rep. Tim Butler says he would be comfortable seeing non-Lincoln items sold.