Mary Lincoln Candlestick Holder

Throughout much of Mary Lincoln’s life, candlelight was the primary source of illumination in the home. Springfield merchants regularly advertised the sale of candles, either by the box or by the pound, with the Lincolns often purchasing 4 pounds roughly once a month. Even after gas lights became available in Springfield in early 1855, the Lincolns refused to adopt the new technology with Mary later referring to it as ‘an invention of the Devil.’

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Contract Between Lincoln and Ludlum to Rent the Lincoln Home

Following his election to Congress, Abraham Lincoln chose to rent out his Springfield family home at 8th and Jackson, rather than leave it empty for two years while in Washington, D. C. Lincoln rented the home to Cornelius Ludlum, a brick contractor from Jacksonville, Illinois, for $90 per year. This contract, written by Lincoln, warns Ludlum “to be especially careful to prevent any destruction by fire,” and allows “use of the North-up-stairs room . . . in which to store his furniture.”

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Contract between Abraham Lincoln and Cornelius Ludlum, 23 October 1847

It is hereby agreed by and between Abraham Lincoln of the City of Springfield, Illinois, and Cornelius Ludlum of the same place, that the said Lincoln lets to the said Ludlum the dwelling house in which said Lincoln now lives in said City, together with the lot on which it stands, and the other appurtenances of said lot for the term of one year to commence on the first day of November next; for which the said Ludlum agrees to pay said Lincoln the sum of ninety dollars, in quarter yearly payments; to be especially careful to prevent any destruction by fire; to allow said Lincoln the use of the North-up-stairs room during the term, in which to store his furniture, and to return the premises at the end of the year in as good repair as he may receive them, ordinary decay only excepted.

October 23rd 1847

A Lincoln

C Ludlum


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