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Although he never lived in the county, Abraham Lincoln visited Coles County more than 30 times between 1831 and 1861. He came to the county to visit his parents, practice law, and in 1858 to debate his rival Stephen Douglas. Lincoln’s close relationship with Coles County is explained in this exhibit.
Tolppanen, Bradley P., "Abraham Lincoln & Coles County" (2011). 2011 - Remembering America's Civil War: A 150 Year Retrospective. Paper 2.