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Abe Lincoln’s Connections to ISU revealed

Written by on February 8, 2021

Photo courtesy to ISU 

NORMAL, Ill.- A new book studying the connections Abraham Lincoln had to Illinois State University is to hit local book stores.

Historian Tom Emery and ISU alum Carl Kasten created the 280-page book, “Abraham Lincoln and the Heritage of Illinois State University,” that uncovers the untold stories of Lincoln at ISU.

“Lincoln wrote the guarantee for the university, which secured funding. In doing so, he really ensured the university would be in Bloomington,” said Emery.

Lincoln served as counsel to the state’s Board of Education and he had close ties to Jesse Fell and William Saunders.

“We know that Lincoln was with Saunders at the White House, two nights before he delivered the Gettysburg address, to overview … the plans for the proposed national cemetery. We believe that Saunders and Lincoln may have met sometime before that,” said Emery. “Lincoln was a very frequent visitor to Bloomington and often visited his good friend Fell.”

William Saunders designed the ISU Quad.

Emery said if Lincoln were to revisit ISU, he’d be shocked at the growth.

“If he were alive today, he’d look at the sparkling, beautiful buildings and I think he’d be awestruck,” said Emery.

Presidents’ Day 2021 will occur next Monday, February 15.

President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C.

He died the next day on April 15, 1865.

On the day he was shot, Lincoln told his bodyguard that he had dreamt he would be assassinated.