Illinois’ Lincoln Library May Have To Sell Artifacts To Pay Off Loan
The Abraham Lincoln Library Foundation in Springfield, IL may have to sell off artifacts belonging to our 16th president to pay off the loan.
Just when we thought our state's woes couldn't get any worse this happens.
Now this debt related news has nothing to do with our state's government financial issues, it still is like a punch in the gut to our state overall.
The State Journal Register shares that the library may have to sell off artifacts once belonging to Abraham Lincoln in order to "resolve financial issues over a loan it obtained to purchase a vast collection of Lincoln artifacts a decade ago."
Wait a minute. Let;s get this straight the Abraham Lincoln Library is threatening to sell off artifacts to pay for a loan they were granted to purchase artifacts that belonged or were related to our state's moniker.
Wow! That almost doesn't makes sense, or does it?
The Lincoln Library foundation, which is completely different from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, took out a loan in 2007 for $23 million "to acquire the Barry and Louise Taper Collection, an extensive collection of Lincoln artifacts and other objects."
The library has paid down about $13 million dollars of the loan "all through private fundraising", yet still has about $9.7 million dollars left to pay and the note comes due October 2019.
The organization said the met "with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office about its financial problems but did not get any financial commitments from the administration."
Excuse me for sounding sound sarcastic, but imagine that the governor's office didn't get back to them. Umm, sorry library folks, but our state has their own financial problems to deal with. Just saying.
The Library said that if they can't get financial assistance in the next 20 months, they've said that they will have to resort to "the possibility of selling these unique artifacts on the private market which would likely remove them from public view forever."
The items they purchased back in 2007 are "a stovepipe hat purported to have been worn by Lincoln, bloodstained gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, an 1824 book containing the first known example of Lincoln’s handwriting and items related to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. Some of [these] items are on display at the presidential museum in downtown Springfield."
State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, said that "there are some non-Lincoln items that are part of the collection that the state had to buy along with the Lincoln artifacts. 'I’d be fine with (selling) the non-Lincoln items.'”
Which makes sense to me.
This is sadly depressing and disappointing too.
I really hope a better resolution comes to paying off the loan than just selling off artifacts that were Abraham Lincoln's and will never be seen again. It's like watching history being erased before our eyes.