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Fragment of Lincoln paper matched to Ill. piece
Associated Press
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Published: 12/30/2009 10:06 AM

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CANTON, N.Y. -- An upstate New York college's half of a legal document bearing Abraham Lincoln's signature has been linked to the other half held in the Illinois State Archives.

Researchers say they're from a page torn in half some time after Lincoln signed the document in 1846, when he was a lawyer in Illinois.

Officials with The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, the group that matched digital images of the fragments, say someone likely pilfered the part with the signature after the 16th president's assassination in 1865.

That half has been kept at St. Lawrence University's Owen D. Young Library for at least 30 years.

The top half was left in the original case file, which has been in the Illinois archives since the 1930s. Lincoln signed the document as part of an appeal in a dispute between Edgar County officials.