Friday, December 9, 2011

Lincoln documents discovered by SMU senior

By Meg Beerling
Feature Editor

Senior David Spriegel took one last look at the documents he filed under “miscellaneous” during his internship at the Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Ill. and now, he’s glad he did.

Over the summer, Spriegel discovered two original documents written in 1844 by Abraham Lincoln during his legal career.

Spriegel said at first glance he hadn’t noticed Lincoln had been the lawyer to write these documents, and he filed them in a miscellaneous folder with similar documents. Most of them were land transfers, said Spriegel. For whatever reason, he went back to double-check that file, he said. He then read, “The above memorandum is in the handwriting of Abraham Lincoln. – M. Hay.”

“I thought, ‘No way is this true,’” said Spriegel. However, it was part of his job to pass it up to get the handwriting verified, he said. Sure enough, the handwriting was Lincoln’s.

Spriegel said the documents are now with 1,580 other manuscripts at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He said he’s happy to have the documents safe and where they belong.

Spriegel said he was surprised at the amount of publicity he got after finding the documents. Stories about Spriegel’s discovery were run by the Associated Press, the Chicago Tribune and the Huffington Post, to name a few.

David is due to graduate from Saint Mary’s University in May 2012 with a degree in history.

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