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Rail Splinters

Lincoln Museum in Boise

December 28, 2019

This coming November 19th (the sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address), barring unforeseen circumstances, the Idaho Historical Society in Boise will open a permanent exhibit entitled “The Lincoln Legacy Gallery”. The artifacts will be presented in a five-room suite concurrently under construction in the archives building of the Society on Old Penitentiary Road. According to their press release, it will constitute “… the most significant archive of items relating to Lincoln and the Rocky Mountain Region ever assembled.” Many of the approximately 1500 exhibit artifacts have been donated to the Society from the personal collection of long-time Railsplitter David LeRoy and his wife Nancy. David is a former Attorney General and Lieutenant-Governor of Idaho and a practicing attorney in Boise. While Lincoln never traveled further west than Iowa, he did sign the bill creating the Idaho Territory and oversaw the creation of Montana from the Idaho Territory. During his tenure, Arizona was organized as a territory and Nevada became a state. Besides an impressive selection of presidential campaign memorabilia, the archive contains Lincoln’s last land survey from 1839, an assortment of legal pleadings (one with an Idaho connection), Lincoln-signed appointments for the first Chief Justice and first two governors of the Idaho Territory, Lincoln’s file note in the 1864 process of splitting off the Montana Territory, plus life-casts of Lincoln’s face and hands. David and Nancy have been actively collecting Lincolniana for the past 25 years, making finds from Anchorage to Pennsylvania and as far away as Paris. David states: “My wife Nancy and I are donating the artifacts so that future generations might understand and appreciate the Idaho-Lincoln connection.” Society Director Janet Gallimore adds: “Our History Center will show and tell the Lincoln story, over the full course of his life, using tangible, original items, but also link in Idaho connections, people and stories at each juncture with the historical pieces. We hope this exhibition will inspire students, tourists, and the community to learn more about Idaho and its rich, fascinating history.” For more information, feel free to contact Dave directly at dave@dleroy.com.