Intern makes incredible discovery of unknown papers written by Abraham Lincoln in 1844
Discovery: A university student came across unknown papers written by Abraham Lincoln
University student David Spriegel was in his second week of a summer internship when he made the discovery of a lifetime.
The 21-year-old, who just finished his junior year at St. Mary’s University in Minnesota, was preparing a stack of old papers to be registered and stored in a database.
As he reviewed the documents at the aptly named Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois he noticed a small inscription that had previously been overlooked.
It read: “The above memorandum is in the Abraham Lincoln inscription. — M. Hay’.
The 167-year-old documents are handwritten memos detailing plots of land being bought and sold in Springfield, dating back to the days of the future president practicing law in that city.
The intended recipient, Milton Hay, a clerk in Stuart and Lincoln’s office, is said to have recognized his handwriting.
Experts have now confirmed that the documents are authentic Lincolns and will be added to the museum’s more than 1,800 other original manuscripts of the president.
Memorabilia related to the 16th president of the United States can fetch thousands of dollars and even items related to Lincoln’s dog Fido are snapped up by enthusiasts.
Lincoln, who was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by noted actor John Wilkes Booth, was the first Republican president when he was elected in 1860.
A spokesman told the American newspaper Daily Herald that such a find is indeed very unusual, especially for someone as green as Spriegel.
“They are certainly a rare find – one or two such documents may turn up every year,” said museum spokesman David Blanchette.
‘Such a discovery is rarely made by an inexperienced intern.
‘Usually they are researchers with many, many years of experience,’ says Blanchette.