Selling expendable Lincoln-collection items won’t erase debt

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation owes more than $9 million for a collection of artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln and says it might have to sell some of it to erase the debt.

An Associated Press review of the collection shows a bevy of items only tangentially related to the 16th president.

They include theater playbills from the father of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth; an 1874 invitation to the wedding of the daughter of President Ulysses Grant; a 1928 memo to the wife of the law partner of Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

New Jersey-based appraiser Brian Kathenes (kuh-THEH’-niss) says such items wouldn’t command the price that Lincoln’s presidential seal or documents in Lincoln’s hand would.

The museum foundation wants Illinois to provide funds to keep the collection intact.

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