By David J. Kent
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Guy Fraker is a retired attorney in Bloomington, Illinois. He's also a collector of Lincoln memorabilia. Today, July 1, 2021, Fraker donated a letter to the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum.
The letter was written by Lincoln and "discusses an important decision made by Lincoln that 'set the stage for his entry into national politics.'" More details can be found in the ALPLM press release.
Lincoln Group members will recall that Guy Fraker traveled with us on the bus touring the Eighth Judicial Circuit when over twenty of us toured the Land of Lincoln in 2016. Fraker and Bob Lenz, past-president of the Abraham Lincoln Association, regaled us with stories from the road as we followed in Lincoln's footsteps on the circuit. Fraker showed us his office in downtown Bloomington, where we likely saw the letter he is donating hung on his wall. You can read more about our travels here in Part I and Part II.
This isn't Fraker's first donation. Last year he donated another "invaluable document" to the McLean County Museum of History. As they described it:
"The legal pleading — running one and one-half pages in Lincoln’s own hand —dates to the fall of 1851 and offers a fascinating window into the 16th president’s law career and his deep connections to McLean County."
Also, "In the pleading, Lincoln summarizes the claims of his client, Robert H. Rutledge, regarding an aborted real estate deal involving 160 acres on the southern edge of Downs Township in McLean County. At issue was neighboring landowners Jesse Funk’s demand that Rutledge honor an alleged contract to sell the acreage. The case would conclude two years later when the McLean County Circuit Court ordered Rutledge to sell 80 of the 160 acres in question."
Guy Fraker has spoken to the Lincoln Group in the past about his two books on Lincoln's time on the circuit, including Lincoln's Ladder to the Presidency and Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A Guide to Lincoln's Eighth Judicial Circuit.
[Photo of Guy Fraker in his office by David J. Kent, September 2016]