Little did they know that just blocks away, in the Sangamon County recorder's office in Springfield, there were framed legal documents signed by Lincoln hanging on the walls.
The documents were hanging in a vacant office at the recorder's.
Recorder Mary Ann Lamm said she kept the blinds closed until a few months ago, when a cleaning crew left them open. Since then, sunlight has been streaming onto the documents, but not long enough to fade the ink.
John Lupton of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project says the documents will be electronically scanned as part of a state project to digitize every document written by Lincoln or sent to him.