A high-quality reproduction of a famous Abraham Lincoln photograph will be presented to the Kankakee County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 27.
The unveiling ceremony will take place at 3 pm at the courthouse, 450 E. Court St., Kankakee. The event coincides with a Lex Honor Society induction for local paralegals and will allow the public and paralegals to witness the unveiling of the portrait.
“It is an honor to be part of this historic endeavor to honor Abraham Lincoln during the state’s bicentennial,” said Michael Kramer, Chief Judge of the 21st Judicial Circuit. “This photograph captures Lincoln just before his transition from trial lawyer to presidential candidate.”
The photograph was taken in Springfield by well-known photographer Alexander Hesler on June 3, 1860, for Lincoln’s 1860 presidential campaign. Historians consider Hesler’s portrait one of the best taken of Lincoln during his pre-presidential years.
The permanent installation is made possible by donations from the Illinois Judges Association (IJA), the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) and their respective foundations – the Illinois Judges Foundation and the Illinois Bar Foundation. Printed on canvas, the image of the beardless Lincoln is encased in a richly stained wood frame and measures 30-inches wide by 40-inches tall.
The four organizations are partnering with the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS), which owns the glass-plate positives of Hesler’s Lincoln portrait. The ISHS is leading a statewide campaign to place a framed copy in a courthouse in each of Illinois’ 102 counties in commemoration of the state’s bicentennial this year.