It’s being billed as a rare look at one of the few surviving stovepipe hats that belonged to Abraham Lincoln.
But the Chicago Sun-Times reports that some experts are questioning whether the hat on display at the presidential museum in Springfield actually belonged to the 16th President. The official story is that the hat was given by Lincoln to a farmer, either after the Lincoln-Douglas debates, or after Lincoln became president. The farmer’s descendants later sold the hat, and it was eventually purchased as part of a $24 million acquisition of Lincoln memorabilia.
Museum officials say the hat was made in Springfield and is Lincoln’s hat size, and they have no reason to doubt that the hat once belonged to Lincoln.