ITHACA, N.Y. (April 7, 2015) – A century and a half ago, in April 1865, the Civil War was coming to an end.
To commemorate that anniversary, Cornell University Library is putting three unique documents related to Abraham Lincoln on display in the same place at the same time: Saturday, April 11, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition will be held in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, level 2B of Kroch Library on Cornell’s campus in Ithaca, N.Y.
The open house will include:
- The Emancipation Proclamation, the first engrossed copy made from the manuscript draft sent to the State Department and signed by Lincoln;
- The Gettysburg Address, one of only five existing copies written in Lincoln’s own handwriting; and
- The 13th Amendment, one of 14 commemorative copies signed by Lincoln and the members of Congress who voted to end slavery in America.
Curator Lance Heidig noted that April includes several major sesquicentennial anniversaries: April 3, when the Confederate government and troops abandoned their capital, Richmond; April 9, when Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox; April 14, when Lincoln was assassinated; and finally, April 27, when Cornell’s charter was signed in Albany.
“The Library has a dual mission: to make these documents accessible, but also to take care of them and preserve them,” Heidig said. “When they come out in the light, they are damaged a bit, and our Conservation and Preservation experts keep track of that. “After our sesquicentennial celebrations, these artifacts won’t be publicly displayed together again for a long time, so you'll want to check out this flash exhibition.”
The event is free and open to the public.