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J.B. Pritzker, Governor
ISM System :From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois, 1830-1861
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From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois, 1830-1861 - ISM Springfield

  From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois, 1830-1861   

From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois, 1830-1861

To celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the Illinois State Museum presents an interdisciplinary exhibition, From Humble Beginnings: Lincoln's Illinois 1830-1861, which explores the Illinois that Lincoln knew through objects and stories of the people who lived here. Lincoln's Illinois traces the dynamic changes in Illinois' agriculture, industry, and transportation that, by 1860, helped transform Illinois from a frontier region to a powerful state.The exhibition runs from February 6, 2009 to January 10, 2010. For more details click here for full Press Release. Additional Press Release noting additions to the exhibition.

This exhibition will explore how:

  • Improved transportation impacted the settlement of Illinois
  • New technologies spurred industrial and agricultural expansion
  • Family life changed as Illinoisans became more prosperous and goods became less expensive

Objects and artifacts from the exhibition include:

  • A rare John Deere Plow
  • Maps of Illinois from the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s
  • Artifacts from archaeological sites around the state
  • Children's toys and belongings
  • Household goods: ceramics, clothing, textiles, furniture, and art from 1830-1860

Public programs being held in conjunction with this exhibition include:

From Humble Beginnings School Programs:  This exhibit includes themes and information that applies to the Illinois State Learning Standards. Click here to learn more about school programs for this exhibition.

This exhibition is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois State Museum Society's 1877 Fund has also provided support for this exhibition.

Learn about other exhibitions currently at the ISM Museums and Galleries.


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ISM Dickson Mounds
ISM Lockport
ISM Chicago
ISM Rend Lake

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