By Allen Guelzo in the National Review:
On the day in 1858 that Abraham Lincoln squared off against Stephen A. Douglas in the fifth of their great debates across Illinois, the candidates spoke from behind platforms that had been hastily cobbled together and moved to the east side of Knox College’s “Old Main,” in Galesburg. Because of a quirk in the height of the platforms, the candidates were helped onto them through a seven-foot-high window in “Old Main,” leading Lincoln (who’d never had more than a year’s worth of formal schooling) to wisecrack, “At last I’ve gone through college.”
The joke concealed the real mortification Lincoln felt as a 49-year-old lawyer facing the influx of a new generation of college-educated competitors from back east. “Ah, that is what I have always regretted,” Lincoln told New York Herald reporter Stephen Fiske in 1861, “the want of a college education.”
From the Beta Theta Pi Magazine, Luke Karner describes his summer work with Wediko, a camp for young people struggling with serious behavioral and emotional problems.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Douglas Wilson, co-director of the renowned Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, said the museum “isn’t for scholars.” But he accepts its shortcomings because it comes with an astonishing research library that is “a fantastic resource for studying Lincoln.”
“As long as they built a new, big, state-of-the-art library for us to work with,” Burlingame said, chuckling, “they can do anything they want to the museum.”
In December, Lincoln fans lamented the state’s closing of the Vandalia Statehouse and Lincoln Log Cabin near Charleston, two important sites. The same month, the presidential library and museum lost the chance to acquire a collection of Lincoln documents and artifacts valued at $20 million.
David Blanchette, spokesman for the $150 million presidential library and museum, acknowledged the loss to an Indianapolis consortium. But he noted that the library already has more than 12 million Lincoln items, and that almost 2 million people have visited the library and museum since their April 2005 opening.