Debt for Lincoln items might force the sale of artifacts

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum says it might have to sell artifacts if it can’t pay off a decade-old loan that financed items related to the 16th president.

The Springfield State-Journal Register reports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation has revealed it owes $10 million on a 2007 loan it obtained for the well-known Barry and Louise Taper Collection of Lincoln-related items.

It includes a stovepipe hat purportedly worn by Lincoln, bloodstained gloves Lincoln wore the night he was assassinated, and an 1824 book containing the first known example of his handwriting.

The foundation paid $25 million and borrowed $23 million. The note comes due in October 2019.

Springfield Republican Rep. Tim Butler says he would be comfortable seeing non-Lincoln items sold.

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