Lincoln in Kentucky

“First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation Before the Cabinet” A. H. Ritchie, Engraver Ca. 1866, Mezzotint This print is based on the 1864 F. B. Carpenter painting of Lincoln reading his draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet in the White House on July 22, 1862.

Everyone in Kentucky is looking forward to Lincoln, the Stephen Spielberg moving starring Daniel Day Lewis, and with good reason. President Lincoln was a native Kentuckian, married a Kentuckian, and considered himself a Kentuckian until the day he died. The film, which is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of President Lincoln, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, covers the final four months of his life and has already garnered raving reviews from critics. As someone who loves history and historical fiction, I am looking forward to seeing this movie and learning more about this time period in history.

The Filson is well-known for its collection of Civil War history and artifacts from the Ohio Valley Region. What may be less known is the amount of Lincoln ephemera we have in our collection, which boasts 612 items directly related to him. In our Civil War exhibit United We Stand, Divided We Fall – The Civil War in Kentucky and the Ohio Valley, we have over 17 artifacts on display. In addition to a rare portrait of a clean-shaven President Lincoln, we also have the sheet music to his funeral march, items from the funeral procession, and letters bearing his signature.

In addition to our physical exhibit, The Filson created an online resource for Lincoln, called Lincoln’s Kentucky. This website explores the connection between President Lincoln and the Bluegrass State.

If you go to the movies to see Lincoln and would like to know more about President Lincoln and this era in our history, we welcome you to visit The Filson and dive into our collections or view our exhibit!

Jamie Evans

Jamie Evans is the Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator at The Filson Historical Society. When she isn’t working on publications for The Filson, you can find her behind her sewing machine or out on the roads training for her next big race.

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