While the Gem State is rapidly approaching its Monday, March 4, sesquicentennial of the creation of the Idaho Territory, historians are also busy preparing a permanent exhibit to memorialize Idaho's indelible connection to President Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday the nation celebrates today (Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809).
"Idaho, more than any other state, is related to Abraham Lincoln, and here's why," David Leroy, former Idaho attorney general and lieutenant governor told Boise Weekly. "He appointed 15 or our earliest officers, he signed a bill to create the idaho Territory, he mentioned the Idaho Territory in his 1863 and 1864 addresses to Congress, he considered the business of the Idaho Territory on the last day of his life, and he even invited the Idaho Territory governor to go with him to Ford's Theater on that fateful night."
Leroy is about to donate his personal collection of more than 1,000 books, documents, sculptures and memorabilia to the Idaho State Historical Society in preparation for an October opening of a permanent exhibit that will showcase the different stages of the life of the nation's 16th president.
"The first part of the exhibit will be an exact replication of Lincoln's office," said Janet Gallimore, executive director of the Idaho State Historical Society. "This is meant to be the first big 'wow.'"
In Wednesday's Boise Weekly, we'll preview the exhibit and consider the timely and timeless bond between Lincoln and Idaho.