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Springfield clerk provides Lincoln funeral papers

Published: Saturday, April 26, 2014 12:05 a.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD – Digital reproductions of documents related to Abraham Lincoln’s funeral are being given to a group planning a re-enactment for next year’s 150th anniversary of the president’s funeral.

The Springfield city clerk presented the documents to the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition on Thursday. Deputy Clerk Rianne Hawkins found the documents while looking through Springfield City Council records from the time around Lincoln’s 1865 assassination and funeral. The State Journal-Register reported that the clerk’s office also is giving copies to the Ford’s Theatre Society in Washington.

The copied documents include an April 19, 1865, record of a unanimous Springfield City Council vote on an ordinance to spend $20,000 to defray the costs of Lincoln’s funeral in Illinois, and an April 24, 1865, council vote to approve offering 218 acres next to Oak Ridge Cemetery for Lincoln’s burial.

Another document authorizes the mayor of Springfield to appoint a committee to “procure suitable quarters for the escort attending the remains of the late President Lincoln from Washington.” One document authorizes the Springfield City Council to issue permits to “control the erection of booths for the sales of food during President Lincoln’s funeral.”

The original documents are in a bound volume stored in the city clerk’s vault.

The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum made the copies.

Funeral coalition chair Katie Spindell said she hopes the group can display the documents at their events. The coalition plans a full-scale re-enactment of Lincoln’s funeral May 2-3, 2015, in Springfield.

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