Fay, Herbert Wells. Letters, 1927 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of letters written from Allen Francis Edgar to Herbert Wells Fay in 1927.
Allen Francis Edgar lived in Staten Island, New York, and was a descendent of the Francis family of Springfield, Illinois. His ancestor, Simeon Francis, was a prominent journalist who founded the Sangamo Journal in Springfield, Illinois, in 1831. Simeon and his wife were close friends of Abraham Lincoln, and Simeon was eventually Lincoln's appointee as Paymaster of the Pacific Northwest federal troops. Allen Francis Edgar's great-grandfather, Allen Francis, was the younger brother of Simeon and worked with him at the Sangamo Journal.
Herbert Wells Fay (1859-1949) was born in DeKalb County, Illinois. He was part owner of the Hinckley (Illinois) Review and later co-owned the DeKalb Review. From an early age, Fay collected historical portraits, particularly of international figures, US politicians, and famous authors and artists. Fay was the custodian, historian, and tour guide of the Lincoln Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, from 1921 to 1948.
This collection contains seven letters with five envelopes written from Allen Francis Edgar to Herbert Wells Fay in 1927. The letters detail Edgar's inherited Lincoln-related relics from the Simeon Francis Home in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were believed to have met. Additionally, Edgar wrote to Fay about the importance of the Simeon Home, his interest in securing copies of various photographs and clippings held by Fay, and his hopes that Fay would help appraise his collection items. Several letters contain much embellishment of Lincoln relics, such as the knife that cut Lincoln's wedding cake and candle stick holders Lincoln used while reading books.
The Library purchased this collection in 2021.