Rare Abraham Lincoln autographs are displayed in New York

An exhibition of documents and memorabilia to celebrate Abraham Lincoln has gone on show this week at Cornell University in New York, US.

Three of the texts, in particular, will be of great interest to Lincoln enthusiasts.

The Bancroft copy of the Gettysburg address is the one that people will undoubtedly hurry for. It will only be on view for the first week of the exhibition.

There are only five copies of the address, handwritten by Lincoln, in existence - each slightly different. The 19th century Bancroft copy is named after George Bancroft. He requested that the President write it on behalf of his stepson, who was collecting documents to sell to raise funds for diseased or injured soldiers.

The speech redefined the ideology of the Unionist struggle in 1863 at the height of the Civil War, emphasising equality and freedom, and has been heavily quoted over the years.

Cornell's copy of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is printed but signed by Lincoln, and was the first formal copy to be sent to the state department. The document declares the freedom of slaves, although only in the 10 states then controlled by the Confederacy.

The Thirteenth Amendment, which was formalised and proclaimed in December 1865, expanded the emancipation of slaves to all states. It was considered urgent, as its purpose was also to confirm that the Emancipation Proclamation was not merely a temporary wartime order.

The only exception given for slavery was for those convicted of a crime and sentenced to hard labour. The document was written by a secretary, and then signed by Lincoln himself.

The University's Carl A Kroch Library, where the exhibition is being held, will also display photographs, engravings and memorabilia, notably from Lincoln's 1860 and 1864 campaigns.

It will run until April 2010, and is a must-see for those interested in Lincoln memorabilia.

However, if you are looking for a Lincoln collectible that you can have and hold, at Paul Fraser Collectibles we currently have a rare and sought-after autograph by the President.

An exceptionally rare Presidential document, signed by President Lincoln as Civil War raged across North America in 1862, can be yours to own.


For further information on our rare historical memorabilia, please contact Adrian Roose at adrianroose@paulfrasercollectibles.com or telephone +44 (0) 117 933 9503

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