Historian Faked Date on Key Lincoln Artifact

Researcher 'rewrote history,' says archivist
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2011 2:23 PM CST
Historian Faked Date on Key Lincoln Artifact
This handout image provided by the National Archives shows a close up of the altered date.   (AP Photo/National Archives)

An Abraham Lincoln researcher has confessed to changing the date on a Lincoln document, effectively altering history for his own gain, AOL News reports. Thomas Lowry changed the date from April 14, 1864, to 1865—the date of Lincoln's assassination—so that it would seem he’d discovered one of Lincoln’s last official documents. In fact, that claim won him national attention in 1998. Lowry had a “criminal intention to rewrite history,” said a US archivist.

A National Archives worker caught the switch, observing that the “5” on the presidential pardon (of a Civil War soldier who deserted) looked darker than the rest of the numbers. After an expert studied the document, Lowry submitted to questioning and confessed this month. It’s too late to prosecute, says the Justice Department, but Lowry is now banned from the National Archives. Conservators are looking into restoring the document.
(Read more Abraham Lincoln stories.)

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