Thursday, January 15, 2009

Signed Emancipation Proclamation on Display

There's a story here about a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, which has been loaned to the National Museum of American History for display in one of their two bicentennial Lincoln exhibitions.

There are several printed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation that Lincoln personally signed. These artifacts were created by Lincoln to be auctioned off at various fund-raisers that earned money for the war effort, often supporting wounded veterans.

In fact, Lincoln gave his personal copy of the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, which is a combination of cuttings from the preliminary proclamation and Lincoln's handwritten additions to the text (with a few lines evidently hand-written by a secretary). This copy was purchased by the Chicago Historical Society, and was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. However, a photographic copy of the draft survives and can be viewed here.

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