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News From The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
12-31-2012, 03:25 PM
Post: #10
RE: The Emancipation Proclamation and Mary Lincoln's Jewelry On Display at the ALPLM
Emancipation Proclamation

Currently on display through January 21, 2013

One hundred fifty years ago, on January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the issued the Emancipation Proclamation. To commemorate this momentous anniversary, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is reminding you of your chance to view our signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, plus two new artifacts, currently on display in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery. These artifacts are on display through January 21, 2013.

“Every year in our country, the legal and social equality of all races continues to come closer to our ideal,” said James M. Cornelius, curator of the Lincoln Collection here at the Presidential Library and Museum. “The great break with the past, the seminal event, the leap forward, began with Lincoln's pen...People at the time - black or white, American or European, North or South - knew this, and their experience tells us to celebrate this document and its anniversary.”

The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the officially printed commemorative copies that Lincoln signed in full, along with Secretary of State William Seward and Lincoln’s private secretary, John G. Nicolay. The President signed the original Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, in private with only a few witnesses at his side – no “photo opportunity” as we like to say today.

It is fortunate that the commemorative printing was ordered, because Lincoln’s original manuscript was lost in the Chicago Fire of 1871. The Proclamation measures approximately 27 by 20 inches. It was most recently displayed during a five-day special viewing around his birthday in 2012, and during the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial.

Next to it are two artifacts never before displayed. One, created in the 1870s, is a bronze statue of Lincoln breaking the shackles of a slave. The sculptor was probably a Frenchman, Léon Falconnier. It was inspired by a giant Washington, D.C., statue by Thomas Ball for which Frederick Douglass gave the dedication speech in 1876. In that speech Douglass declared Lincoln “the white man’s president,” though he had earlier deemed him “the black man's president.” Falconnier may have wanted to capitalize on Ball's work, which, though less popular today, was commissioned and paid for by freedmen and helped solidify the image of Lincoln as the liberator of a race. Lincoln in fact had urged freedmen to show their gratitude to God and not to him, since freedom is a human right.

The other item on view for the first time is an 1864 notice of a slave sale in Louisville, Kentucky. This sale, held nearly two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, shows that the Proclamation did not apply to the border states during the Civil War, thus keeping these slave-holding states in the Union. The next year, Lincoln and Congress voted to change the U.S. Constitution with the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the entire United States.

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RE: The Emancipation Proclamation and Mary Lincoln's Jewelry On Display at the ALPLM - RJNorton - 12-31-2012 03:25 PM

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