Alcove Case 2

Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln, January 1, 1863. “Authorized Edition” signed in 1864 by Abraham Lincoln as President, William Seward as Secretary of State, and John Nicolay as Private Secretary to the President Lincoln Rare Book Collection

The Leland-Boker printed edition of the Emancipation Proclamation was created by two staunch Union supporters, magazine editor Charles Godfrey Leland and philanthropist George Henry Boker. Copies were printed and signed for sale at the Great Central Sanitary Fair held in Philadelphia in June 1864, one of many Northern efforts to raise funds for sick and wounded Union soldiers. Lincoln created a public sensation by attending the Philadelphia event and delivering a moving speech praising the work of the Sanitary Commission. While it is not known how many copies of the Leland-Boker edition of forty-eight were actually signed by Lincoln, twenty-five copies are known to survive.

“What the Administration Has Done”

Union Congressional Committee. New York: Printed by John A. Gray & Green, 1864. Lincoln Collection. Broadsides.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, granted freedom to all slaves held in areas of the Confederacy that had not yet been brought under the Federal government’s military control. For the remainder of the war, every Union victory on the battlefield would hold an added moral dimension. Maps such as this one showed the steadily enlarging area reclaimed by Union forces as armies pressed further into the Southern states.

Blood-stained curtain fragment

Ford’s Theater, Washington, D.C. 1864. Lincoln Collection. Miscellaneous Manuscripts

This blood-stained piece of curtain is said to be from the private box at Ford’s Theater where Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. As with many relics of Lincoln, its authenticity has never been firmly established. A note indicates it was presented to Lincoln Post No. 3 of the Grand Army of the Republic of the Potomac by E. L. Townsend on January 15, 1880.

Lincoln Funeral Car (“Pioneer”), decorative panel

George M. Pullman Company, 1864. Lincoln Collection. Artifacts.

In 1864, Chicago entrepreneur George M. Pullman built the first version of what was to become the “Pioneer,” the celebrated Pullman railroad car. A foot wider and two feet higher than the conventional cars of the day, Pullman’s coach set a new standard for railroad passenger convenience and elegance. When Lincoln’s casket reached Chicago on its long rail passage from Washington to Springfield in April 1865, Pullman’s new coach was added to the funeral train, it was said, so that Mary Todd Lincoln could ride the last leg of the journey in comfort. This painted panel was removed from the interior of the Lincoln funeral car when it was broken up, and after being acquired by William G. Pinkerton it was eventually given to William E. Barton in 1923.

“The House & Tomb of President Lincoln, Presented by the Sangamo Ins. Co.”

Sangamo Insurance Company, Springfield, Illinois. Lithograph, 1865. Lincoln Collection. Broadsides.

Lincoln’s burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, brought the state’s most famous son home at last. As the city in which Lincoln had spent the longest period of his adult life, Springfield soon became a pilgrimage site devoted to the life of the Great Emancipator.