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Vermilion County Museum

116 North Gilbert Street
Danville, IL 61832

217-442-2922

History

The true house Museum is housed in a home built by pioneer physician William Fithian, who in his time, served as prairie legislator, horseback doctor, Civil War surgeon and personal friend of Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Fithian and Lincoln became friends when they both served in the Illinois legislature in 1834 and the association continued until Lincoln's death. Lincoln first came to Danville to represent Fithian in a court case.

Fithian hosted Lincoln many times when he visited Danville and supported him both financially and with speeches when Lincoln ran for office. In September of 1858, Lincoln gave a speech from the south balcony of the Museum when he was campaigning for the U. S. Senate. The balcony, the window Lincoln stepped out and the bedroom Lincoln used on his visits remain as they were that autumn day in 1858. The bed in the Lincoln room is the bed the tall statesman slept in when he visited Fithian. There is also an original newspaper announcing Lincoln's candidacy, a photograph of him taken in Danville and a hand-written note from Lincoln to Secretary Risley written just a few months before his assassination.

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