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Exhibit in Covington will focus on Lincoln

COVINGTON — Four visits Abraham Lincoln made to Cincinnati will be the focus of a new exhibit opening in February at a museum in Northern Kentucky.

Lincoln in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati will start Feb. 12 at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in commemoration of the bicentennial of the 16th president's birth.

It will be on display at least through May.

Lincoln made four historically significant visits to Cincinnati between 1849 and 1861.

He addressed a crowd about slavery in an 1859 speech, and he spoke there on his birthday in 1861 while on the way to his inauguration, said Paul Tenkotte, chair of the History, International Studies and Political Science departments at Thomas More College. He will provide the keynote for the event.

"It's the only exhibit that I know of that actually looks at all the Cincinnati connections," Tenkotte told The Kentucky Enquirer. "Be those the actual visits or the familial and collegial connections — who he knew, who was from the area, who was involved."

Through telling the story of Lincoln's visits to Cincinnati and his impact on Northern Kentucky, the museum also will tell the story of abolitionism, Tenkotte said.

The museum will mark his death on Apr. 17 with a presentation about the brother of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Junius Brutus Booth Jr. was performing at Pike's Opera House in Cincinnati the night Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theater in Washington.

"They had to get him out (of Cincinnati) rather quickly because people are upset with him over what his brother did," Tenkotte said.

Some 30 panels with photographs, newspaper articles and other items from the Civil War era will be on display in the exhibit. A Lincoln impersonator also will be there.

"We're going to bring in artifacts and information from a variety of sources," said Sarah Siegrist, assistant director of the Behringer-Crawford Museum.

"As you might imagine, it's pretty hard right now to get hold of Lincoln artifacts."