Another Arizona oops … Is that really Lincoln’s autograph?

You know, history news just won’t let me alone to write history these days.  So much for that break from blogging.

This morning I arose at a reasonable hour to have breakfast while I perused our local newspaper, The Arizona Republic.  You can imaging what pleasant reading that can be, between our governor’s desire to cut funding for transplant patients (talk about health care death panels … where are Obama’s health care critics on this issue?) and the continuing saga of the NFL Cardinals (thank goodness I’m a Giants fan).

There, in the Valley & State section, I came across a feature article on a display of documents related to Arizona’s territorial organization and push for statehood.  The original state constitution and other documents had been set out for public viewing at the state capitol.  One of the other documents was “a portion of the Arizona Organic Act of 1863.”  As the article tells us: “The document, which former President Abraham Lincoln signed, was fragile: Several pieces of clear tape, which yellowed over time, held the paper together.”

Hmmm, I thought, that’s a remarkable sentence.  I had never seen Lincoln referred to as “former President Abraham Lincoln,” but, given the condition of funding for public education in this state, perhaps readers needed that reminder.  I could also imagine preservationists and others wincing as they found out that the document was being held together by clear tape.  Obviously the state spares no expense or expertise in preserving essential documents.

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