Lincoln 150: Preserving the Union
10 artifacts in this set
Following the American Civil War, this engraving commemorated a crucial event and became popular for classroom display across the country. On July 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln first read the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet officers. Publicly announced by Lincoln in September 1862 to become law on January 1, 1863, it was the essential first legal step in eliminating slavery.
Following the American Civil War, this print commemorated a crucial event and became popular for home and classroom display across the country. President Lincoln is shown in this hand colored lithograph with a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Publicly announced by Lincoln in September 1862 to become law on January 1, 1863, it was the essential first legal step in eliminating slavery.
After President Lincoln's assassination, prints were produced to pay tribute to Lincoln's memory and to help the public mourn. In this print, produced in 1864 and re-released after Lincoln's assassination in 1865, a Mathew Brady photograph of the martyred President is surrounded by imagery relating to patriotism, freed slaves, rebellion, peace, and Lincoln's great achievement of keeping the Union intact.
John Rogers created "Council of War" a few years after the end of the Civil War. This plaster-cast sculpture depicts the Union leaders discussing military actions. President Lincoln studies a map while General Grant points out his plans. Secretary of War Stanton listens from behind. The work became a popular memorial to Lincoln and his advisors for an American middle-class audience.
Photomontage Showing President Lincoln with Congressional Supporters of the Proposed Anti-Slavery Constitutional Amendment, 1865
The Emancipation Proclamation only declared freedom to slaves in rebel states. So in 1864, President Lincoln drafted a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to legally abolish slavery forever. Congress approved this Thirteenth Amendment January 31, 1865, but it took 10 months before the necessary states ratified it so it would become law. Unfortunately, President Lincoln did not live to see that happen.
This 1859 letter to Nathan Sargent, a fellow member of the emerging Republican Party, lays out Abraham Lincoln's rapidly crystallizing views on the question of extending slavery to new states. Lincoln foresees a proposed moderation in the Republican platform--allowing the spread of slavery unhindered--as working against the Party's chances in the North in the upcoming 1860 presidential election.
By 1863, the Union desperately needed reinforcements and African Americans were eager to help. After the Emancipation Proclamation, they were actively recruited into the army. Separated into their own regiments, they often experienced discrimination. These soldiers fought bravely, which changed the way many Americans thought about them. This broadside urges African-American enlistment in the Union Army.
Joint Resolution of the United States Congress, Proposing the 13th Amendment to Abolish Slavery, 1865
The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, not the Emancipation Proclamation, formally abolished slavery in the United States. With the adoption of this amendment the United States found a final solution to the issue of slavery. The word "Duplicate" at the top indicates the bill was passed by Congress but had not yet been ratified by the states.
President Abraham Lincoln visits General George B. McClellan and his officers at Antietam, Maryland. Alexander Gardner made the photograph on October 3, 1862. At the time, this was the main eastern theater of the Civil War. President Lincoln often conferred with his commanders in the field. Lincoln, at 6-foot 4-inches and wearing his distinctive top hat, towers over the officers.
Photomechanical Print, "October 3, 1862--Lincoln and McClellan after Antietam--McClellan's Last Battle"
President Lincoln put his hopes for Union victory in General George McClellan. But chance after chance, McClellan moved too slowly and cautiously to decisively win battles. Lincoln met with McClellan after the Battle of Antietam, urging him to pursue Robert E. Lee in battle. The meeting did not go well and about a month later, Lincoln relieved McClellan of command.