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Lincoln's Hat On Display

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013by millie.lange

SPRINGFIELD – Nothing brings the image of Abraham Lincoln to mind better than his iconic stovepipe hat. And nothing sums up Lincoln’s beliefs better than a scrap of paper he may have stored in that battered hat. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy,” the piece of paper says.

Now, just in time for Lincoln’s birthday, both the hat and the note on democracy are going on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. They’ll be added to the museum’s Treasures Gallery Wednesday, January 23, and remain on display about six months.

The two new items will join a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s order freeing slaves in rebel states during the Civil War. The proclamation turned 150 years old January 1.

The beaver-fur hat has two bare patches on its brim where Lincoln’s fingers wore it out as he continually doffed it to passersby.