University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Lincoln Collection Art, Artifacts and Ephemera 1907-1979, undated

© 2011 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Lincoln Collection. Art, Artifacts, and Ephemera


1907-1979, undated


7 linear feet (5 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The Lincoln Collection Art, Artifacts, and Ephemera contains art and other artifacts related to Lincoln and the Civil War. Included is a plaque of Lincoln’s head, a shawl, Civil War envelopes, and other commemorative ephemera. The collection forms part of the William E. Barton Collection of Lincoliana.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Lincoln Collection. Art, Artifacts, and Ephemera, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Rev. William Eleazar Barton (1861-1930) The Rev. William Eleazar Barton (1861-1930) was one of the early twentieth century's most prominent writers and lecturers on the life of Abraham Lincoln. Born in Sublette, Illinois, in the same year Lincoln assumed the presidency, Barton grew up in an environment heavily influenced by reverence for Lincoln. After pursuing undergraduate studies at Berea College in Kentucky, Barton earned his divinity degree from the Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1890. He served parishes in Tennessee, Ohio, and Massachusetts before becoming the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Oak Park, Illinois, a position he held until his retirement in 1924. Four years later, Barton accepted an appointment as lecturer at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, where he also organized and served as pastor of the Collegeside Congregational Church.

Barton's work as a writer produced a number of denominational manuals for church organization and a series of books presenting the wisdom and parables of a character he named Safed the Sage. For the last ten years of his life, however, Barton was best known to the public as a prolific author and lecturer on Abraham Lincoln. His publications about Lincoln included The Soul of Abraham Lincoln (1920), The Paternity of Abraham Lincoln (1920), The Life of Abraham Lincoln (1925), The Great and Good Man (1927), The Women Lincoln Loved (1927), and The Lincoln of the Biographers (1930).

In the course of compiling material for his writings and talks, Barton visited Lincoln sites in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois; interviewed surviving Lincoln relatives and acquaintances; and traveled as far as California and England to collect information and conduct genealogical research on the ancestry of the Lincoln family. While acquiring a large collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, manuscripts, and ephemera related to Lincoln and the Civil War era, Barton also purchased privately or at auction historical materials amassed by other Lincoln collectors such as John E. Burton and Osborn H. Oldroyd.

Scope Note

The Lincoln Collection Art, Artifacts, and Ephemera makes up the portion of the Barton Collection of Lincolniana which maintains art and other artifacts related to Lincoln and the Civil War. Included is a plaque of Lincoln’s head, a shawl believed to have been used by the assassinated president, and a large brass plaque that is housed in a wooden crate. The Civil War envelopes contain illustrations of various people, places, and patriotic sentiments, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Civil War generals and majors as well as those depicting women during wartime and “contraband” or newly freed black slaves. There are also images associated with various states, including Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Virginia. Other commemorative material includes a published reproduction of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, information on the restoration of New Salem, Illinois, and the establishment of a transcontinental railroad in 1869, a feat Lincoln sought to accomplish during his presidency. The art, artifacts, and ephemera in this series form part of William E. Barton’s extensive collection of Lincolniana.

Related Resources

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Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Calendar, 1979

Box 1   Folder 2

Civil War Envelopes, Contraband and Women, undated

Box 1   Folder 3

Civil War Envelopes, People, undated

Box 1   Folder 4

Civil War Envelopes, People, undated

Box 1   Folder 5

Civil War Envelopes, North and South, undated

Box 1   Folder 6

Civil War Envelopes, States, undated

Box 1   Folder 7

Facsimile Manuscript of a Speech by Lincoln, undated

Box 1   Folder 8

"A Leaf from the Lincoln and Herndon 'Commonplace Notebook,'" 1959

Box 1   Folder 9

Lincoln Postcards, 1907-1925

Box 1   Folder 10

Lincoln's Funeral Procession, undated

Box 2   Folder 1

"The golden spike that made Abe Lincoln's dream come true," 1952

Box 2   Folder 2

"Letters in the Pilgrimage of Lincoln," undated

Box 2   Folder 3

Reproduction of Gettysburg Address, 1963

Box 2   Folder 4

Restoration of New Salem, Illinois, 1944

Box 2   Folder 5

"The Year was 1856," Lincoln's 8th Judicial Circuit, 1956

Box 3

Wool Shawl (light green), undated

Box 4

Plaque of Lincoln's Head, by John Paulding, undated

Box 5

Brass Plaque (housed in a wooden crate), undated