Gettysburg Address goes on display June 1 at Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
One of the most famous documents in United States history goes back on display at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 1 through 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 4 in the Treasures Gallery at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. Paid Museum admission is required to view the document.
The handwritten manuscript of the Gettysburg Address was last publicly displayed at the Museum duringLincoln’s Birthday observances February 9 – 13, 2012.
There are five original handwritten versions of the Gettysburg Address. Two incomplete ones are in the Library of Congress, a finished one is at Cornell University, and the only one he signed and dated is in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s copy, written at the request of Edward Everett, the main speaker on November 19, 1863 at the Gettysburg Cemetery dedication, came to the State of Illinois in 1944 thanks to the contributions of pennies by Illinois schoolchildren plus a donation by department store magnate Marshall Field III. Illinois’s copy contains the two famous additional words “under God” that Lincoln had not included in his two original draft copies.
Displayed nearby will be an original 1880 letter written by Thomas Edison, never before shown, in which the famed inventor praises Lincoln's greatness.
Beginning on September 5, a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation will go on display through January 2013. This display will mark the 150th anniversary of the presidential order that freed all slaves in rebel-held territory.
The Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation are part of the 52,000-item Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Pieces from the collection are displayed on a rotating basis in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery, and range from the earliest known document written by Lincoln to items belonging to his wife and children. For more information, visit www.presidentlincoln.org.