Peoria Public Radio Staff
Tue August 5, 2014
Scholars Thrilled With Lincoln Inscription On Clinton Library Book
Abraham Lincoln's signature has been rediscovered in a book from the Vespasian Warner Library in Clinton. The volume laid out a justification for slavery. James Cornelius is with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. He says this is an important addition to the understanding of Lincoln's intellectual foundations. Cornelius says Lincoln rarely signed books:
"Really, there are so many books out there with Lincoln's forged signature on the title page that there were whole books written about Oh Lincoln read this thing, oh he read that thing! No! They are all forgeries. So this is really exciting to us, to find something like this."
The 700 page book is called "The Types Of Mankind.” It used the then new discovery of Neanderthal man to falsely argue that different races formed at different times and places so slavery was justified since Africans and Native Americans were not "fellow men." Cornelius says this also gives further evidence that Lincoln was a good lawyer because he took the time to think about opposing beliefs to counter them rationally.