Lincoln letter presented to Lebanon historical society

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – The Lebanon County Historical Society on Presidents Day was given a handwritten letter from President Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln’s 1861 letter to iron furnace magnate George Dawson Coleman was found 100 years later, during the demolition of Coleman’s mansion in 1961.

“George Dawson Coleman was a fervent Unionist and paid to equip Lebanon troops who formed the 93rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry regiment,” Dr. Adam Bentz of the historical society said.

The historical society says Lincoln appointed Coleman to represent the United Sates to the Industry of All Nations exhibition in London. The letter was found in a hidden office that was accessed from a false bookcase.

In 2000, the letter was sold for $18,000. Rick Abel, owner of Abel and Son Roofing and Sodding, bought it a few years later. He donated it to the historical society.

“It’s not always what you have, what you accumulate,” Abel said. “It basically comes down to what did you do with the gifts you were given and blessed with.”

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