Skip to main content

Appomattox Land and Improvement Company records

Identifier: MS-SC4016


The Appomattox Land and Improvement Company was an organization found in New York in 1891 by a group of New York businessmen, with the goal of purchasing and holding real estate, particularly the McLean “Surrender” House at Appomattox, Virginia. Under Myron E. Dunlap, the group purchased several historic structures with the intent of dismantling them and moving them to Chicago for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition or to Washington DC for permanent display. The house from Appomattox was dismantled, but never moved to Chicago or Washington, at least in part because the Appomattox Land and Improvement Company filed bankruptcy during the financial collapse of 1893.

The Lincoln Log Cabin Site at Lerna in Coles County, Illinois, was one of the sites purchased by Appomattox Land and Improvement Company. It was owned by John J. Hall, son of Sarah Bush Lincoln’s daughter, Matilda, until 1891, when it changed hands several times – first sold to James W. Craig and then to the Abraham Lincoln Log Cabin Association of Chicago, Illinois. The Association sold the property and the structure to Dunlap and his company in January 1892. After Dunlap’s death in 1900, his son, Erskine Dunlap, claimed ownership of the property, but the claims do not appear to have been recognized by the Hall family or by the State of Illinois.

The collection includes deeds and affidavits primarily related to the Lincoln Log Cabin site, including documents verifying the site’s connection to the Lincoln family and tracking ownership of the real estate. Also included is an option agreement concerning sale of the land at Appomattox.


  • 1891 - 1924



1 folders (1 folder : .5 linear inches (.042 linear feet)) : 8 items

Language of Materials