If you've never taken the trip down to Springfield to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, you've been missing out on one of the coolest museum experiences that Illinois has to offer. And, now that experience just got a little more interesting.

A unique, three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln that contains 100 original manuscripts was donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday. It includes handwriting from Lincoln and nine other U.S. presidents.

Kudos to the Abraham Lincoln Association for purchasing "The Life of Abraham Lincoln" at auction, with the express purpose of donating it to the Lincoln museum. Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library is thrilled at the donation:

We are incredibly grateful to the Abraham Lincoln Association. Their generosity ensures this amazing find will be preserved for public study.

The biography, by congressman and Chicago anti-slavery leader Isaac Arnold, was first published in 1885 as a single volume. A few special editions with additional illustrations were issued for collectors. Most of these special editions were two volumes. A three-volume edition is extremely unusual. Only the Lincoln Financial Collection in Ft. Wayne, Indiana is known to have a similar set, and that version does not include any manuscripts.

According to the Lincoln museum,

The presidential library’s three-volume version was issued with fine illustrations as well as original, handwritten documents. They include two written by Lincoln and 17 written to him. It also contains items by Mary Lincoln, the Lincolns’ son Robert, political rival Stephen A. Douglas, other politicians and high-ranking military officers. The special edition also came with manuscripts from presidents John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Chester Arthur.

This is one of my favorite Lincoln letters. Although its authenticity has been questioned over the years, the message, no matter who the author may be, is one that many parents would wholeheartedly agree with.

(This is much better with the sound off. The robotic voice-over really sucks, so read it to yourself in your best Lincoln voice):

For more details on the new addition to the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, check out the story in the State Journal-Register by clicking here.

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