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BOISE-- A remarkable collection of President Abraham Lincoln's political memorabilia is taking shape at the Idaho State Archives.

However, it's not completely finished yet.

Dubbed the Lincoln Legacy Collection and Exhibition, the unique grouping of historical items is said to be the most significant and largest relating to Idaho and the larger Rocky Mountain West.

Slated to open November 19th, the collection includes over 1,500 books, letters, photos, publications, paintings, and other objects that illustrate Lincoln's connection to the region, along with his larger politcal career.

The exhibition is planned to coincide with the Idaho Territory Sesquicentennial.

Much of it has been kindly donated by formerIdaho Attorney General and Lincoln expert David Leroy. That includes a rare lock of hair snipped from Lincoln's head after his assassination.

Those looking for a less visceral reminder of Lincoln's legacy will find plenty of photos, original documents with signatures, and even handwritten letters discussing the creation of Idaho Territory and other western legislation.

Once complete, the full exhibition will occupy 1,200 square feet of uniquely-designed space in the Idaho State Archives on Old Penitentiary Road.

Why is the space unique?

It's been designed to replicate the Lincoln Cabinet Room, and includes subsections that document the former president's political career from election to assassination.

Items in the collection include:

  • The New York Herald, March 11, 1863 Edition, mapping and announcing the President's creation of Idaho Territory.
  • Piece of floorboard from the Lincoln Springfield home, which was occupied during 1847-1848 by Mason Brayman, who became the governor of Idaho Territory in 1876.
  • Printed handbill from Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865 announcing the play to which Lincoln invited IdahoCongressional delegate, William H. Wallace, to attend hours before his assassination.
  • Lincoln's remarks to Congress in 1863 and 1864 reporting the progress made in organizing Idaho Territory.
  • Lock of Lincoln's hair, taken at his autopsy in the White House by James Barnes, the Surgeon General of the United States.

For more information, visit the Idaho State Historical Society.

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