Skip to Main Content


  1. Governor
  2. Celebrating 150 Years of Friendship

Greetings from Governor Quinn 

en español (PDF)

On a cold night in January 1861, a young man from Mexico City named Matías Romero arrived in Springfield, Illinois on an important mission. He had been sent by Mexico’s leader - Benito Juárez – to meet the new President-elect of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

Romero went to Lincoln’s house and they spent hours talking. Many people in Mexico had known of Lincoln since 1847, when, as a young Congressman from Illinois, Lincoln opposed the U.S. invasion of Mexico. This marked the beginning of a long friendship – more than 150 years – between the People of Illinois and People of Mexico.

To celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday, a very special performance reenacting the Romero-Lincoln meeting will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield. And in the audience will be a very special guest, the Honorable Eruviel Ávila, Governor of the State of Mexico. To watch this world premiere performance on a live stream, click here:

Live Performance: Of Mutual Interest: Lincoln & Mexico

Governor Ávila and I met during my trade mission to Mexico City last April, and we are honored for him to visit Illinois. We will lay a wreath at the statue of Benito Juarez on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and sign a pact to bring our states together in areas of agriculture, education and trade.

Governor Ávila is bringing some very special guests with him: the world-famous Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México, featuring legendary conductor Enrique Bátiz. The Symphony will perform a free concert Monday evening, February 10, at Chicago’s Benito Juárez Community Academy…I hope you can attend.

And please join me in welcoming Governor Ávila to the Land of Lincoln.

Pat Quinn
Governor of the State of Illinois

El Gobernador Pat Quinn (PDF)