Sangamon County

Wooden Bench from Lincoln’s Home

Image of bench from Lincoln's home.

a. Wooden bench owned by the Lincolns
b. Object was made in Springfield, IL
c. Object was made circa 1845 and used by the Lincolns until 1861
d. Proper Name: Settee or Bench
e. Object was made by local Springfield carpenter Solomon Conant

The Lincolns were fortunate to have a long back porch on their house when they purchased it in 1844. Despite adding on and changing the house elsewhere, they kept the south-facing porch as long as they lived in the house, only adding some latticework in one section for shade and a place for the climbing roses to grow, making it a pleasant place to pass the time.

Lincoln Cradle

Image of the cradle used by the Lincoln children.

a. Cradle used by the three youngest Lincoln boys
b. Object was most likely made by a furniture manufacturer in New York or North Carolina
c. Purchased by the Lincolns at John Williams Dry Goods Store in Springfield probably around the time Edward Baker Lincoln was born in 1846 and used by the Lincolns’ sons until at least 1854.
d. Proper Name: Cradle
e. Unknown carpenter or manufacturer

Highs and lows were captured in this one artifact from the Lincolns’ lives in Illinois. The Lincolns’ oldest son, Robert, was born while they were living in one room at the Globe Tavern, and this cradle would have been much too large and expensive for the Lincolns. After the family moved into their one and a half story home, and Mary had their second son, Eddie, in 1846, they had the room and a little extra money to purchase this large walnut cradle.

Mary Lincoln’s Kitchen Stove

Image of Mary Lincoln's kitchen stove.

a. Kitchen stove owned by Mary Lincoln
b. Object was made in Buffalo, NY
c. Object was purchased by the Lincolns on June 9, 1860 from Eli Kriegh’s store in Springfield, IL, and used by them until Feb. 8, 1861
d. Proper name: Royal Oak Cook Stove
e. Manufactured by Jewett & Root Stove Works, Buffalo, NY

Mary Lincoln did not know how to cook when she first married Abraham Lincoln, having grown up in homes with slaves in Kentucky. She quickly learned over the large, open fireplace in her new home, but the addition of a wall dividing the kitchen from the dining room destroyed the fireplace and gave Mary a chance to acquire a cook stove.

Stereoscope Owned by the Lincoln Children

Image of Stereoscope owned by the Lincoln children.

a. Stereoscope owned by the Lincoln children
b. Purchased by Abraham Lincoln from Jack Hough, a Springfield furniture dealer, around 1860.
c. Object was made around 1859 in New York, NY and used by the Lincolns from late 1859/early 1860 to 1861
d. Proper Name: Stereoscope
e. Patented by Alexander Beckars and James Lee

Mr. Lincoln is often only thought of as the President, but in Illinois, he was also a husband and father who was known to spoil his little boys. Mr. Lincoln also had an interest in technology. These traits came together in Mr. Lincoln’s purchase of a stereoscope for his sons. The stereoscope allowed for viewing on two sides and cost approximately $18-20, the equivalent of a laborer’s monthly wages.

Abraham Lincoln’s Desk

Image of Abraham Lincoln's Desk.
Abraham Lincoln used this desk when he first “began to do business for myself” around 1844, according to the affidavit. About ten years later, he brought it home to his new second floor bedroom and used it there for a few years until he upset the inkwell on it and upset Mrs. Lincoln in the process. She threw it out!

Lincoln’s Shaving Mirror

Image of Abraham Lincoln's shaving mirror.
This is Abraham Lincoln’s portable shaving mirror. He used it riding the 8th Illinois Judicial Circuit prior to his presidency. Made from stained oak, it could be folded and neatly tucked away in its self-contained wooden, rectangular case.

Americana #18, Carolina Parakeet

Image of Americana #18, Carolina Parakeet, by Kevin Veara, acrylic on panel, 2015.
Like naturalist illustrations on steroids, Kevin Veara's paintings contain the precision and crisp detail found in John J. Audubon prints but without Audubon's formulaic natural settings. Veara surrounds his birds in exotically-colored patterned environments, bringing to mind the way contemporary painter Kehinde Wiley employs highly-stylized patterning as wallpaper that surrounds his figural paintings in order to critique Western Art history and obliterate cultural boundaries.

Miasma #32, Swamp Sparrow

Image of Miasma #32, Swamp Sparrow, by Kevin Veara, acrylic on panel, 2012.
Springfield, Illinois, artist Kevin Veara paints birds against eye-popping backdrops of imagined, mutant hybrid flora. His paintings comment on the extraordinary beauty of these birds that are forced to coexist or become extinct in an ever-changing modern environment. Some of his paintings also include the birdcalls in bold, glowing, cursive phonetics, a nod to both early 19th century naturalist studies and tattoo art.

Silver Spoon

Image of silver spoon owned by Frances Todd Wallace, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln.

c. 1850
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Mrs. F. J. Patterson, 1971.35.750168

This silver spoon belonged to Frances Todd Wallace, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. It was purchased from Chatterton’s Jewelry Store in Springfield (the same place where Abraham Lincoln bought Mary’s wedding ring). The spoon was eventually donated to the Illinois State Museum by Frances’s great-granddaughter.

Parlor Chair

Image of parlor chair owned by former Governor Joel Matteson.

c. 1850-1855
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Dorothy Deneen Blow, 1951.21

This rosewood chair was rescued from a fire in former Governor Joel Matteson’s private residence in 1873. Built in 1855, Matteson’s Springfield mansion boasted nineteen rooms filled with elaborate furnishings and was considered “a marvel of architectural beauty” in its day. This chair, which was originally upholstered in brocatelle, likely sat in the oil-frescoed first parlor.


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