Experience a celebration of Black History Month at the Caterpillar Visitors Center! Take a video tour of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Understand the stories behind the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments through artifacts from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. The exhibit features what is arguably Peoria's rarest historical artifact: a hand-painted banner that was carried through the streets of Peoria during Lincoln’s presidential campaign. The banner is on loan from the Peoria Historical Society.
A banner, oil painted on satin by Mr. John Bush, Sr., was created for the Wide Awakes to carry in street parades during Lincoln's 1860-61 campaign (possibly 1864 as well). The painting depicts Abraham Lincoln, and behind him what we presume to be the White House, indistinctly outlined. The scroll has printed the following message: "This is to Certify that I have hired A. Lincoln for four years from March 4th, 1861." The back of the banner is also silk and in gold thread says: "Presented to the Wide Awakes by the Ladies of Peoria."
The Caterpillar Visitors Center is honored to display this rare artifact.