Abraham Lincoln at The Filson
When The Filson Club (now The Filson Historical Society) was founded in 1884, nearly twenty years after the completion of the Civil War, its ten founders displayed the divisions of the nation and Kentucky during the war. Some had fought for the Union, others had fought for the Confederacy, and a few had supported neither the North nor South. The war still generated much emotion and could lead to heated debates. At a society founded on the premise of preserving history, the topic of the Civil War could not be ignored. It was not long before papers on various aspects of the war were presented at the club’s monthly meetings. It also was not long before members and others began giving historical material to The Filson, much of which included material dating from Lincoln’s lifetime. These early gifts formed the foundation for what has become a nationally significant collection numbering well over one million items. Included in the collection is Lincoln material such as letters, documents, photographs, prints, portraits, books, pamphlets, and memorabilia.