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Abraham Lincoln portrait.
Abraham Lincoln, a favorite son of Illinois

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Illinois Entered the Union as the 21st State
December 3, 1818

The French claimed, explored, and settled Illinois in the 1600s. They passed the territory onto Great Britain in 1763, and in 1783, the United States acquired the land. Nicknamed "Land of Lincoln," the state is very proud of its famous son, Abraham Lincoln, who came to Illinois in 1830. After playing a major role in moving the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield, Lincoln married socially prominent resident Mary Todd, and settled into his new home to practice law and build a political career that would bring him the presidency in 1861. Lincoln was not the only famous citizen of Illinois.
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