Hickey acquired the hat for an undisclosed price from a downstate antique shop, where Waller’s daughter-in-law, Clara Waller, had sold it for just $1 after the 1956 death of her husband,former Illinois State Representative Elbert Waller. Hickey would go on to loan the hat to the state on various occasions, including the 1981 drawing between former Republican Gov. Those silky, shiny models are the most popular variety, but durags can also be made of velvet, for special occasions, as well as polyester. You can layer the velvet durags with silk Durags to get the desired results. Over the years, the foundation took steps to have the hat secretly swabbed by the FBI for possible Lincoln DNA, which yielded no positive results. Civil War. The gesture represented a token of gratitude for taking up Lincoln’s pro-Union, Republican cause in heavily Democratic southern Illinois during the war, officials have said. The bill, among other things, established a working group of foundation and museum board officials “to collaborate to advance the interests of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.” Wheeler, the state historian, was named chairman. Relations between museum officials and the clout-heavy foundation have been inflamed for months, and the efforts by Lowe and Wheeler to bring in the textile expert from Colonial Williamsburg to study the hat appeared to heighten tensions.
Those guests appeared to include a who’s who within Chicago social circles: Neal Zucker, a philanthropist and owner of a Chicago window-washing company with state contracts; Nora Daley, daughter of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley; Marko Iglendza, the owner of a national spa chain that has locations at O’Hare International Airport; and Estelle Walgreen, the ex-wife to the heir of the Walgreen drugstore chain. Richard Ogilvie. Former Democratic Gov. Fast-forward to August of 2018, when Wheeler was ordered by former museum director Alan Lowe to conduct his own study into the hat. While Wheeler concluded more study on the hat is warranted, his findings pour an even heavier dose of skepticism on a hat purchased by a private foundation from West Coast collector Louise Taper for display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. In August, the first lady’s chief operations officer, Christine Lovely, asked Lowe to arrange a private tour of the state’s Lincoln artifacts for MK Pritzker and a group of her friends. In an Aug. 13 email, Lovely identified the group scheduled for a private inspection of the hat and other Lincoln relics. One of foundation board’s vice chairmen, Nick Kalm, wave cap and durag told WBEZ this week that the group never intended to shut the door on additional testing of the hat and blamed Lowe for not responding to the request for a meeting.
But in an interview with Edgar, the ex-governor told WBEZ that he reached out to Pritzker’s office to raise concerns about the timing of the testing on the hat and its potential impact on legislation the foundation was trying to pass in the waning days of the spring session. Jim Edgar, the widow of former Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert and the spouse of convicted political influence peddler William Cellini, who all played a role in moving ahead with the purchase. Jim Edgar, president emeritus of the Lincoln foundation board. At the time of the hat’s purchase, 20 wave caps Taper sat on the foundation’s board of directors. In the report, Wheeler focused on a history of double-dealing, conflicts of interest and a neglect of basic due-diligence in studying the hat’s provenance before its purchase. But then he saw Clara Waller’s 1958 affidavit revealing the hat’s history was entirely based on circumstantial evidence.
And the foundation sought input from top historians at the Smithsonian Museum and Chicago History Museum, who both concluded not enough evidence existed to support the notion the hat belonged to Lincoln. A 16-month state study finds no new evidence to authenticate a disputed, multi-million dollar stovepipe hat purportedly owned by Abraham Lincoln that has been displayed at his presidential museum in Springfield. And that interest was displayed more than two months after the governor’s office was put on notice that the hat had no apparent tie to Lincoln. Two years later, in 1990, Hickey sold the hat to Taper for an undisclosed price. The report says Schwatrtz had assumed Hickey got the hat from Lincoln’s great-grandson during a trip to Vermont. The report released Monday by Illinois State Historian Samuel Wheeler found the hat did not appear to be in Lincoln’s hat size. “I believe the past can be instructive, if we take the time to examine it and resolve never to repeat the same mistakes,” Wheeler wrote in the 54-page report obtained exclusively by WBEZ. Besides Edgar’s previously undisclosed involvement, the emails obtained by WBEZ showed another political luminary with a specific interest in the hat: Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker.
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