by Houghton Library
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Harvard’s Lincoln presents a selection of materials from Houghton Library’s collection of Lincolniana that is astonishing in breadth as well as diversity. The collection includes several recent acquisitions as well as books, manuscripts, and artifacts from the collection of William Whiting Nolen. Houghton’s Lincoln collection has been assembled in a fashion very much in keeping with the library’s tradition: through a combination of years of assiduous and visionary collecting and the benevolence of interested and knowledgeable donors. The purpose of the exhibit is threefold: to commemorate the Lincoln bicentennial and to promote Houghton Library’s relevant collections; to assert the library’s commitment to meeting the needs of its users, especially Harvard’s faculty and students; and, finally, to pay tribute to Alonzo Rothschild and William Whiting Nolen, two donors whose generosity built the foundation on which Houghton’s Lincoln collection rests. It is to them that Harvard’s Lincoln is dedicated.
|1||Abraham Lincoln. Exercise Book Fragment, ca. 1825, Manuscript||This fragment contains mathematical exercises in the hand of Lincoln when he was a teenager. Lincoln’s former law partner, William Henry Herndon (1844-1891), received this leaf from Lincoln’s stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln (1788-1869), in 1866 when he was collecting documentation for his planned biography of the late president. F MS Am 1326 Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie, 1954.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|2||Abraham Lincoln. Letter to William Henry Herndon, Washington [D.C.], February 15, 1848. Manuscript.||Lincoln took his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in December 1847. Hoping to distinguish himself in Congress, Lincoln chose to make opposition to the Mexican War one of his signature issues. He believed that the war was unnecessary and unconstitutional. In this letter, written back home to his law partner Herndon, a Whig who supported the war, Lincoln asserts that Polk violated the Constitution by invading Mexico not to repel an invasion but to seek additional territory. “Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion,” Lincoln wrote, “and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure….If, to-day, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him?” Autograph File, L Bequest of Mrs. James T. Fields, 1915.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|3||The Republican Banner for 1860. New York: Currier and Ives, 1860. Broadside.||In May 1860, the Republican Party gathered in Chicago for its convention and nominated Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin for president and vice president. Hamlin (1809-1891) was a Republican senator from Maine and had previously served that state in the House of Representatives and as governor. This broadside of the 1860 Republican ticket was published by the New York printmaking firm of Currier and Ives. Founded by Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895), the firm issued more than a million prints such as this one between 1835 and 1907. Their prints, depicting a variety of images of American life, were extremely popular. The firm produced many political prints, several of which included Lincoln as a subject. *2008-255 Source unknown.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|4||For President, Abraham Lincoln [.] Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin. 1860. Flag.||Flags, such as the one shown here, were popular campaign ornaments in the 19th century. This is one of several flags that were produced for the Lincoln campaign. B*2007M-43 Purchased in 2007 on the Bayard Livingston & Kate Gray Kilgour Fund.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||Enoch Lewis: Extra schedule for special train, for the accommodation of the President-Elect...||...to be run from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Friday, Feb 22, 1861.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||Before and After the Beard, 1860 & 1861||1. The “Wigwam” Grand March, dedicated to the Republican presidential candidate, Hon. Abrm. Lincoln. Boston: Oliver Ditson and Co., 1860. 2. Inauguration Grand March, dedicated to the President of the United States. Hon. Abrm. Lincoln. Boston: Oliver Ditson and Co., . In 1860, Oliver Ditson and Company, one of the leading American music publishing houses of the mid- to late-19th century, issued the The “Wigwam” Grand March during Lincoln’s campaign for the presidency. After Lincoln was elected, Ditson and Company published a grand march to mark the inauguration using the same image of Lincoln from the 1860 piece, but adding the beard that the president-elect had grown since his election. Lincoln Collection Source unknown.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|7||Abraham Lincoln. The proclamation of emancipation, by the President of the United States, to take effect January 1st, 1863.||Boston: J. M. Forbes, 1863.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|8||Abraham Lincoln. The president’s dedication address at Gettysburg. New York: Miller and Mathews, . Broadside.||This small and rare broadside is the first separate printing of Lincoln’s famous address. The broadside is undated, but copies were available in 1864 when the publishers sent several copies to President Lincoln in March of that year. According to its publisher, the broadside was issued as a keepsake to be sold at the New York Metropolitan Sanitary Fair in April 1864. Lincoln Collection Source unknown.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|9||Abraham Lincoln. Andrew Johnson. President and Vice-President. Hartford, Connecticut, and New York||F. B. Whiting, [1864?]. Broadside.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|10||Alexander Gardner. Abraham Lincoln delivering second inaugural address, 4 March 1865. Photograph.||This Alexander Gardner photograph shows President Lincoln delivering his second inaugural address on the east portico of the Capitol. Along with the Gettysburg Address, the second inaugural is considered to be one of Lincoln’s finest speeches. With the war winding down and defeat of the Confederate armies all but certain, Lincoln could have chosen to deliver an address that celebrated victory over a soon-to-be vanquished enemy. Instead, the President chose humility over self-righteousness and delivered a speech that was at first solemn then conciliatory in tone, calling on the nation to heal the wounds of war and reconcile its differences. In the audience that 4 March day was the actor John Wilkes Booth, who was at the time plotting to kidnap the President. Lincoln Collection Source unknown.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|11||The tallest ruler on the globe is inaugurated at Washington, 1865||The lesser luminaries of Europe assisting deferentially. Frank Leslie’s Budget of Fun. New York, April 1865||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|12||Ford’s Theatre….Friday Evening, April 14th, 1865….Our American Cousin. Washington, D.C., 1865||H. Polkinhorn and Son, 1865. Broadside.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|13||The Assassination of President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre, Washington, on the night of Friday, April 14, 1865.||Philadelphia: A. Pharazyn, 1865. Lithograph.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|14||William Shakespeare. King Richard the Third. New York: Samuel French, n.d. Promptbook.||This promptbook for Shakespeare’s King Richard the Third was at one time owned by John Wilkes Booth. His name appears in gilt on the cover and his name and initials have been written in several places throughout the volume. One of Shakespeare’s darkest works, the play depicts the murderous rise to power and subsequent short reign of Richard III. Booth acted in this play on several occasions in different cities, including Boston and Philadelphia. Richard III was one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite Shakespeare plays. TS Promptbook Sh154.313.335 Harvard Theatre Collection. Source unknown.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|15||Broad axe. [early 19th century]. Iron and wood.||This broad axe, according to an affidavit that accompanied it in 1922, was sold by Abraham Lincoln to a cattle driver in Illinois for “one dollar and four bits.” A few years later, the cattle driver saw the man who sold him the axe “electioneering for office, later same man ran for the Presidency, and won, being Abraham Lincoln.” The affidavit was signed by the wife of the cattle driver’s grandson on 19 June 1922. During Lincoln’s 1860 campaign for the presidency the axe became a symbol of his frontier upbringing. Lincoln became known as the “Rail Splitter” as a tribute to his prowess with an axe as a young man. Lincoln Collection The William Whiting Nolen Collection of Lincolniana.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
|16||Union Nominations…for President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, 1864||For Vice President of the United States, Andrew Johnson. New York, 1864. Poster.||4/8/2011||Free||View in iTunes|
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