A powerful look at Lincoln’s greatest words and how they helped end slavery in America. “Undying Words” explores the most important speeches of Lincoln’s career, showing how his views on slavery evolved as he sought to hold the country together. One hundred fifty years after the Civil War ended and Lincoln died, this exhibit shows what was at stake for the slaves, soldiers and families caught up in the crisis Lincoln devoted himself to ending.[Sneak Peak
The exhibition runs from November 22, 2014, to February 28, 2016. It is free with regular admission.
- More than 120 items will be on display, including two dozen that have never before been displayed publicly.
- Of the five centerpiece speeches and two documents, six will be displayed in their original form, whether hand-written or first printing. This is a first for any Lincoln-related exhibition. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has never shown all six together, and might never do so again.
- The bed where Lincoln died and the carriage he and Mrs. Lincoln used are among the artifacts on display. Other items include slave shackles, the pen Lincoln used to sign copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the gloves Lincoln carried on the night of his assassination.
- Five interactive stations let visitors do things like explore Lincoln’s words and ideas or compare the Lincoln family carriage to that of other world leaders. (Guests will likely be surprised at how simple the Lincoln’s carriage was, compared to the others.)
- Artifacts illustrate how Lincoln’s words have been remembered over the decades. Examples include an 1865 toy about the Emancipation Proclamation, a 1915 poster about the 13th Amendment and a 1950s brass door-knocker about the House Divided speech.
- Visitors will be able to contribute to the exhibit by the way of a word cloud, offering their own interpretation of Lincoln’s words and answering questions regarding today’s issues in light of Lincoln’s words and ideals.
- First time on display anywhere:
- Robert Lincoln’s personal photo album from his days at Harvard, including girlfriends, professors and buildings.
- A beautiful gold-leaf sealed condolence letter on vellum, presented to Mary Lincoln upon her husband’s death by the people of Oldham, England.
- A now-faded blue rosette that hung in the Old State Capitol immediately above Lincoln’s face in his coffin.
An 80-page, full color catalog will accompany the exhibition. The catalog features over 70 rarely seen images and artifacts, and includes full versions of Lincoln’s most famous speeches: A House Divided, the First Inaugural Address, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural Address and the Speech on Reconstruction. It will be available for $9.99 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Store and the Chicago History Museum Gift Shop.
The Lincoln Collection
At 52,000 items, the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is the nation’s most complete repository of Lincoln documents, photos and artifacts. The Presidential Library holds a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address, along with more than 1,500 manuscripts written or signed by Lincoln. More than ten thousand books and pamphlets, 1,000 broadsides and 1,000 prints and photographs complete this unsurpassed collection relating to Lincoln and his family.
“Undying Words” draws on this collection, along with the resources of the Chicago History Museum, which is lending the Lincoln bed, carriage and numerous other artifacts.