Lincoln’s Undying Words at the Chicago History Museum

Lincoln’s Undying Words at the Chicago History Museum
Displayed at campaign rallies, The Railsplitter portrays Lincoln as a self-reliant frontiersman on his way to the White House, shimmering in the distance. The imagery appealed to many Northern voters with similar backgrounds and cultural values. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection
...Lincoln's appeal to South from first inaugural address, 1861

Take a step back from election year 2016 to Abraham Lincoln’s legacy at a new exhibition “Lincoln’s Undying Words,” that opens today at the Chicago History Museum.

The exhibition, created in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, explores this historic period through five of Lincoln’s key speeches:

  • A House Divided, 1858
  • His first inaugural address, 1861
  • The Gettysburg Address, 1863
  • Lincoln's second inaugural address, March 1865
  • His speech on Reconstruction, April 1865, given three days before his assassination

Showcased in the exhibition are rare treasures and artifacts related to Lincoln, including his family’s carriage, on display at the Museum for the first time in 30 years, and his deathbed.

Lincoln died in this bed on the morning of April 15, 1865, after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre. This view of the bed, taken at the Chicago History Museum, includes Lincoln’s Last Hours, painted by Alonzo Chappel in 1868.  Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum

Lincoln died in this bed on the morning of April 15, 1865, after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre. This view of the bed, taken at the Chicago History Museum, includes Lincoln’s Last Hours, painted by Alonzo Chappel in 1868. Courtesy of the Chicago History Museum

Other highlights include:

  • A first edition of Solomon Northup’s book, “Twelve Years a Slave."
  • Lincoln’s last order to General Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Actor Michael Krebs reads selected excerpts from Lincoln's speeches--bringing Lincoln's words to life--through a special iPod experience for visitors.

Exhibition hours and run:  Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, 12 to 5 pm. From April 9, 2016 through February 20, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                  Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., 312 642 4600.
Fee: The exhibition is included with Museum admission of $16 adults/ $14 seniors and students, and free for children 12 years of age and younger.                                                                                                                                                                                          Parking: Parking is one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets; enter on Stockton Drive. $9 with Museum validation.

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