The statue shown above is life size of young Abraham Lincoln.  He is shown how he would have looked when he first became a part of the Danville scene in about 1843 as circuit lawyer. Beside him is a satchel full of papers and law books.  This statue is placed in the reception hall of Vermilion Co. Museum in Danville.
  Below is Dr. Fithian's home as seen in the summer of 2007.  The Dr. was a long-time friend of Abe's who he probably became acquainted with while they both served in the Black Hawk/Indian War.  Today it is a lovely museum furnished in the same way as it was in 1858 when Lincoln stayed there.
 
 
Back to Paynes and Abe

 

 

Here below is a poor copy of the Danville Newspaper dated September 29, 1858.  It reports of the occasion when both Abraham Lincoln and Senator Stephen Douglas visited Danville to make pre-election speeches to listeners there as they vie for the Illinois Senate seat.  The article says that Lincoln is well known in Danville and perhaps that is why the crowd is happy to cheer him as their "favorite son", so to speak.  The article relating the particular occasion ends with the red line in the second column but I left some of the rest of the newspaper in tact so the reader could get a full flavor of the way newspapers reported news in those day.  I was surprised at how biased the reporter is on the Republican side.  This bias is not so different than many of our newspapers today.  I have highlighted in gold the parts of the article which help support the claim that Permelia Payne Malcom purported all her life - that she and her family were acquaintances ever since the times when Lincoln was a lowly circuit lawyer with an office in Danville and that she had met Abraham Lincoln and perhaps even "sat on his lap" as a child or danced with him on occasion.  The reporter relates that on the second day Mr. Lincoln was greeted by a procession of 37 young ladies from Catlin. Interestingly enough, that is exactly the same number of young ladies that greet him the day before when he arrives.  Catlin is the town where Permelia, her father and family members lived and is about 6 1/2 miles southwest of Danville. (By the way, Lincoln loses this election.)

 

Part of the article at the top of the second two columns is missing but that does not spoil the meaning and significance of the article.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    ◄ Abraham Lincoln spoke to the crowd of supporters from this balcony on the second story of the Fithian home in Danville in Sept. 1858.  It seems impossible not to believe that the members of the Payne family (even Permelia) were in attendance and even participated at this important event in the life of their community, Danville Ill., a small town in those days.

Below is a photo of the plaque set in stone located in front of the Fithian home commemorating the event .▼