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A More Perfect Union

Lincoln for President

In the 1860 presidential campaign, brightly colored banners, outrageous political cartoons, sentimental sheet music covers, and patriotic portraits were printed to win the vote. The colorful banner and the bold campaign poster support the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln during his first (and victorious) presidential campaign in 1860.

The flag was meant to hang like a banner in parades and other political spectacles, so that Lincoln's face would be oriented vertically. The printer liberally changed the spelling of Lincoln's first name (“Abram”) to accommodate his design. The Library has a rich collection of graphic political ephemera, much of which came through copyright deposit.

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Slavery in the Capital

Slavery in the United States was governed by an extensive body of law developed from the 1660s to the 1860s. Every slave state had its own slave code and body of court decisions. All slave codes made slavery a permanent condition, inherited through the mother, and defined slaves as property, usually in the same terms as those applied to real estate. Slaves, being property, could not own property or be a party to a contract. Since marriage is a form of a contract, no slave marriage had any legal standing. All codes also had sections regulating free blacks, who were still subject to controls on their movements and employment and were often required to leave the state after emancipation.

When the District of Columbia was established in 1800, the laws of Maryland, including its slave laws, remained in force. Additional laws on slavery and free blacks were then made by the District, and by Southern standards its slave codes were moderate. Slaves were permitted to hire out their services and to live apart from their masters. Free blacks were permitted to live in the city and to operate private schools. By 1860 the District of Columbia was home to 11,131 free blacks and 3,185 slaves.

The manuscript volume shown with the published slave code is arranged by topic, listing relevant sections of Maryland and District of Columbia laws as well as the applicable court decisions. It is almost certainly a “practice book,” produced within a law firm for the use of its attorneys and clerks, who could refer to it when drafting contracts and legal briefs. That such a book exists indicates something of the volume and routine character of legal work surrounding transactions in human property.

Slavery in the District of Columbia ended on April 16, 1862, when President Lincoln signed a law that provided for compensation to slave owners. An Emancipation Claims Commission hired a Baltimore slave trader to assess the value of each freed slave, and awarded compensation for 2,989 slaves.

The printed slavery code exhibited here was published on March 17, 1862, just one month before slavery in the District ended and the laws became of historical interest only.

The Slavery Code of the District of Columbia together with Notes and Judicial Decisions. Explanatory of the Same. Washington: L. Towers, 1862. Bound manuscript, 1860. Law Library, Library of Congress

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Arguments of the Chivalry

This dramatic print shows a violent incident that occurred in Congress on May 22, 1856, which inflamed sectional passion. The artist recreates the severe beating of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner by Representative Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina. Brooks (right) is standing over Sumner (seated), and Rep. Lawrence M. Keitt stands (center) raising his cane against possible intervention, while holding a pistol. In the foreground are Georgia Senator Robert Toombs (far left with hat) and Illinois Senator Stephen A Douglas (hands in pockets), looking vindicated by the event.

Signed with monogram: WH [Winslow Homer]. Arguments of the Chivalry. Boston: John H. Bufford, 1856. Lithograph on wove paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Nursemaid and Child

Although household slaves held higher status than field hands, this partial portrait of a nursemaid reveals that higher status was relative. The photographer chose to obscure the nursemaid's face, directing our attention to the white child as the main subject of this ambrotype—heightening the infant's prominence by hand-coloring the face and dress. By the late-1850s, the glass ambrotype had replaced the silver-coated copper plate of the daguerreotype for popular photographic portraiture, because it was less expensive and faster to produce.

Unattributed. [Nursemaid with her charge]. Sixth-plate ambrotype, hand-tinted, ca. 1855. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Lincoln's Farewell

Deeply moved by the well-wishing of Springfield friends and neighbors of 25 years, president-elect Abraham Lincoln delivered this short, impromptu speech from the steps of his private railroad car as he began his trip to Washington. Its sad reminiscences and confident benediction so impressed the members of his entourage that he was asked to put his remarks in writing. The effects of a moving train and a hand bruised by countless handshakes, apparent here in the first few lines, forced Lincoln to ask his personal secretary, John Nicolay, to finish.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). [Farewell Address]. Springfield, IL. Manuscript, February 11, 1861. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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The Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Candidate Abraham Lincoln assembled this scrapbook of news accounts reporting the seven debates between himself and Senator Stephen Douglas for the Illinois seat in the 1858 U.S. Senate campaign. Recognizing that the partisan nature of the press could lead to inaccuracies, Lincoln had his speeches clipped from newspapers sympathetic to the Republican Party and the speeches of Douglas clipped from the Democratic press. Lincoln occasionally made notes in the margins when he felt the reportage required changes or comment.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Scrapbook, 1858. Page 2. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Alfred Whital Stern, 1953 (36.1)

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James Polk's Twenty-five Volume Diary

When James K. Polk was inaugurated president on March 4, 1845, the U.S. was on the verge of war with Mexico because of the U.S. annexation of Texas. His twenty-five volume diary represents one of the earliest efforts of a president to preserve a daily record of his presidency. This passage refers to Nathan Clifford, named attorney general by Polk in 1846, who arranged the Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo which ended the Mexican war in 1848.

James K. Polk (1795–1849). Presidential diary. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Chicago Historical Society in 1910 (27.10)

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Lincoln's Student Sum Book

Abraham Lincoln claimed in his autobiography that all of his formal schooling did not amount to one year. The pioneer schools of Indiana probably did not have access to a math text book. Lincoln, however, managed to acquire a few sheets of paper that he sewed together to form a small math notebook. The Library acquired two pages, one leaf shown here. This is considered the earliest extant Lincoln manuscript.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Abraham Lincoln's Student Sum Book, ca. 1824–26. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift Herndon-Weik Collection of Lincolniana, 1941 (29.3)

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The Fugitive Slave Law

In 1850, Congress passed this controversial law, which allowed slave-hunters to seize alleged fugitive slaves without due process of law and prohibited anyone from aiding escaped fugitives or obstructing their recovery. The law threatened the safety of all blacks, slave and free, and forced many Northerners to become more defiant in their support of fugitives. Both broadside and print, shown here, present objections in prose and verse to justify noncompliance with this law.

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Congressional Scales

This satirical print by Currier & Ives comments on President Zachary Taylor's attempts to balance southern and northern interests on the question of slavery in 1850. Various members of Congress fill the evenly balanced scales including the Compromise of 1850 opponents Senator Henry Clay, left, and Senator John C. Calhoun, right.

Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888). Congressional Scales, a True Balance. New York: N. Currier, 1850. Lithograph on woven paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit (34A)

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Union Dissolved!

On December 6, 1860, the people of South Carolina voted for delegates to a convention whose decision was a foregone conclusion. “The only questions,” one observer wrote, “are when shall she secede, and what she shall then do.” The convention assembled in Charleston on December 18, the committee of 169 voted unanimously for secession from the United States. Within minutes of its passage the ordinance appeared as a Charleston Mercury extra edition.

“Charleston Mercury Extra: Passed unanimously at 1:15 o'clock, p.m., December 20, 1860. An ordinance to dissolve the Union. . . .” [Charleston, South Carolina, 1860]. Broadside. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Alfred Whital Stern, 1953 (43.13)

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Horace Greeley and Editorial Staff of the New York Tribune

Horace Greeley, seated at center, the eccentric publisher of the New York Tribune, personified the ebullient spirit of 1850s American politics. A founding member of the Republican party, passionate in his belief that all Americans should be politically and economically free, he spoke out against monopolies and in support of labor unions and experiments in “constructive democracy.”

Mathew Brady Studio. [Editorial Staff of the New York Tribune] (1811–1872). Gold-toned, half-plate daguerreotype, ca. 1850. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. U.S. War College transfer, 1920 (35.6)

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Map of California

Williamson's sketch is an authentic treasure map of the California gold regions. He included it in a letter East written August 23, 1849, when he was in the forefront of the 1849 gold rush. The rush drew thousands of Americans and Europeans—more than eighty thousand in 1849 alone—to streams and fields around the Sacramento River. By the end of the year, California's population was roughly a hundred thousand, enough to qualify for statehood.

Robert Stockton Williamson. Map of California. May 24, 1849. Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7. Manuscript map with pen and ink drawing. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (38A)

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Surveying the West

Gustavus Sohon, a German immigrant, was employed by the U.S. government between 1852 and 1863 as an illustrator and cartographer of explorations of the Rockies and Pacific Northwest. During his last five years of federal service, he worked under Col. George Wright, who headed a military expedition associated with the building of the Mullan Road, a 624-mile long military wagon road constructed to connect the Columbia and Missouri rivers. Sohon, a gifted illustrator, captures the Nez Perce Indians in council with Col. Wright, near Fort Walla Walla, Washington, prior to his campaign over the Columbia River Plateau in late summer 1858.

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The Road West

During the 1840s and early 1850s, John C. Fremont, a noted western explorer renowned for his active role in the conquest of California during the Mexican War, made four expeditions with his cartographer Charles Preuss throughout the western United States. Preuss's seven-sheet map of the two-thousand-mile Oregon Trail was published as a congressional document in 1846. In this section, the marginalia included Fremont's observations about the teams climb to the top of Fremont's Peak at the Western base of the Rocky Mountains. Migrants relied heavily upon this series of maps.

Charles Preuss. Topographical Map of the Road from Missouri to Oregon. Commencing at the Mouth of the Kansas in the Missouri river and ending at the mouth of the Wallah Wallah in the Columbia from the field notes and journal of Captain J.C. Fremont, Sheet IV. Baltimore, MD, 1846. Printed map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (38B)

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The Zouaves

Unable to fulfill his dream of attending West Point, New Yorker Elmer Ellsworth went west, eventually settling in Illinois. Enthusiastic for military pursuits, he secured command of a lackluster band of voluntary military students and turned them into the U.S. Zouave Cadets, a group that became famous for its precision drills. (Traditionally Zouaves were particularly ferocious Algerian soldiers whose exotic uniforms were widely imitated.)

Edward Mendel. Ellsworth's Campaign in Barrack or Dress Uniforms. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (42C.3) Digital ID# pga-02164

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Civil War

Civil War Maps

Jedediah Hotchkiss, a topographic engineer in the Confederate States Army, prepared maps and provided geographic intelligence for Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Richard Ewell, Jubal Early, and John B. Gordon. His collection is the jewel among the more than 2,200 Civil War maps in the Library, containing 341 field notebooks, detailed reconnaissance maps, and finely drawn after-battle maps, some annotated by Jackson, Lee, and others, indicating their use in planning campaigns. The Library also holds a 27,000-item manuscript collection with diaries, correspondence, and notebooks compiled by Hotchkiss.

Born and educated in New York State, Hotchkiss moved to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in 1847. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he offered his services to the Confederate army and was assigned to the staff of General Jackson as a topographic engineer of the Valley District, Department of Virginia. One of his most remarkable achievements was the preparation of a detailed topographic map of the Shenandoah Valley, measuring 71/2 by 3 feet.

Three items representative of Hotchkiss's work are illustrated here. The closed field notebook shows his inscription on the cover: “This volume is my field sketch book that I used during the Civil War. Most of the sketches were made on horseback just as they now appear. The colored pencils used were kept in the places fixed on the outside of the other cover. These topographical sketches were often used in conferences with Generals Jackson, Ewell and Early.” Another field notebook, recording the positions of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia during 1864–65 engagements, is open to a page of rough sketch notes. The finished manuscript map covers the area from the southern Shenandoah Valley to Washington, D.C., and was one of the maps prepared for an atlas to accompany the final report on the Campaign of 1864. The atlas was not published, but a number of the maps were reproduced in the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1891–95.

The collection was purchased by the Library in 1948, from Mrs. R. E. Christian of Deerfield, Virginia, the granddaughter and last surviving descendant of Hotchkiss.

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Promoting the Union Cause

Published in New York City, this combination poster-map prominently displays portraits of the major Union officers at the beginning of the Civil War. It also illustrates various regimental uniforms, and provides a map of the seat of the war in the western border states. In a plea to patriotism and the Union cause, the title-block prominently displays the American flag; employs the colors of red, white, and blue; and portrays a soldier and a flag subduing a snake labeled “secession” and “treason.”

Edward S. Hall. Military Portraits, Map of the Seat of War, Uniforms, Arms, etc. New York: H.H. Lloyd, 1861. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1862 (42C.1)

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A Civil War Sketch Artist

Alfred Waud was recognized as the best of the Civil War sketch artists who drew the war for the nation's pictorial press. Waud could render a scene quickly and accurately, with an artist's eye for composition and a reporter's instinct for human interest.

At a time when the shutterspeed of cameras was not fast enough to capture action, the public's only glimpse of battle came from the sketch artists. Waud's apparent courage under fire and passion for the men he depicted drew him dangerously close to the fighting, and his drawings portray more intimately than those by any other artist the drama and horror of this country's most devastating conflict.

The first Waud sketch is of Custer's division retiring from Mount Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley on October 7, 1864. George Armstrong Custer (1839–76), who lost his life but achieved immortality at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in June 1876, first became known for his military exploits on behalf of the Union army during the Civil War.

He began the war as a second lieutenant assigned to the Second Cavalry and served at the First Battle of Bull Run, 1861. His efforts during the Peninsular campaign in the spring of 1862 convinced General George McClellan to add him to his staff, and by war's end Custer had become one of the most celebrated and decorated officers in the Northern army.

In the fall of 1864, now a colonel in the regular army and a major general of the volunteer corps, Custer took over the Third Cavalry Division in support of the Shenandoah Valley campaign led by General Philip Sheridan. During the campaign, Sheridan's men forced Confederate troops from the valley, which served the South as a major source of produce and provisions, and proceeded to burn and destroy homes, farms, and fields full of crops as they returned North.

Custer so distinguished himself during the campaign that his division was given a prominent role in pursuing General Robert E. Lee's Confederate army as it fled from Richmond in April 1865. It was Custer who received the Confederate flag of truce that led to Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse on the morning of April 9.

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A Photographic Sketchbook

In 1863, after successfully managing Mathew Brady's Washington photographic studio, Alexander Gardner opened his own gallery. Gardner published the first collection of photographs documenting the civil War in 1866. His Photographic Sketchbook, a two volume set containing one hundred mounted photographs, documented architectural sites located near battlefields, war damage, soldiers in camp, and the grim aftermath of combat. Gardner photographed the dead body of Private Andrew Hoge from the Fourth Virginia Infantry three days after the bloody battle of Gettysburg.

Alexander Gardner (1821–1882). “The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg” in Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the Civil War. Albumen silver print, 1863. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Port Royal Band Books

In July 1861, cornetist Gustavus W. Ingals was commissioned to organize selected New Hampshire and Massachusetts musicians to become the band of the 3rd new Hampshire Regiment. It became one of the finest such ensembles and is now best remembered as the Port Royal Band due to an extensive duty tour at Port Royal Island, South Carolina. These items belong to a rare set of part books copied and used by the band during the period 1861–1865.

[Port Royal Band Books]. Manuscript part books, 1861–65. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7. Music Division, Library of Congress

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Lincoln Fires McClellan

In response to Lincoln's concern about the slow pace of the Union troops under General George McClellan, the general responded “You may find those who will go faster than I, Mr. President; but it is very doubtful if you will find many who will go further.” Mary Todd Lincoln, who believed her great antipathy to the general was shared by the public, advised her husband in this letter to remove McClellan from the command. Whether she influenced her husband's decision is unknown, but on November 5, 1862, Lincoln placed the Union forces under the command of General Burnside.

Mary Todd Lincoln to Abraham Lincoln. Holograph, November 2, 1862. Gift of Robert Todd Lincoln, 1923. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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The Battle of Bull Run

This manuscript map was executed a month after the first Battle of Bull Run, called “First Manassas” by the victorious Confederates. It was a jarring setback for the North and for the widespread belief that the price of war would be slight. Through the use of a profile, the draftsman demonstrates that the height of the corn, the depth of the creek, and other features of the site influenced the course of the battle.

Leon J. Frémaux. Sketch Showing the Position of Cap. F. B. Schaeffer's Comd on July the 21st 1861. Manuscript map, August 24, 1861. Drawing, ink, and watercolor on paper. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

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Clara Barton

Twenty years before founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton came to the aid of soldiers fighting in the Civil War. At the war's outbreak, Barton worked as a U.S. Patent Office clerk and collected provisions and medical supplies for the Union Army. Restless with her limited role and undeterred by War Department regulations and prevailing stereotypes, Barton became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield” as she distributed supplies and tended to the wounded and dying. Barton kept these notes during the course of the war, which documented the appalling carnage and medical conditions of the wounded transported to Fredericksburg from the Wilderness campaign.

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The Wilderness Campaign

Edwin Forbes, was recognized as one of the leading Civil War sketch artists who drew the war for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper from 1862 1864. He could render a scene quickly and accurately, with an artist's eye for composition and a reporter's instinct for human interest. At a time when the shutter speed of cameras was too slow to capture action, the public's only glimpse of the action came from the sketch artists like Forbes and Alfred and William Waud.

Edwin Forbes (1839–1895). General Grant and staff on the road from the Wilderness to Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia May 7, 1864. Graphite on paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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The Battle of Gettysburg

One of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 1–3, 1863. General Robert E. Lee came face to face with a Union army led by General George Meade. On July 3, Lee sent three divisions, about 15,000 men in all, against the Union. This oval-shaped map by Theodore Ditterline depicts troops and artillery positions along with roads, railways, and houses with names of residents. The Library has one of the finest collections of Civil War printed maps and the foremost collection of Confederate field maps, numbering more than 2,300.

Theodore Ditterline. Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd, & 3rd, 1863. From Sketch of the Battle of Gettysburg . . . . New York: C. Alvord, 1863. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress. Purchase, 1902 (42A.2)

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Discrimination During the Civil War

The first Jewish organization to formally protest against Order No.11 “expelling and ostracizing all Jews, as a class . . . issued by Maj. GenL. U.S. Grant” was the United Order “Bné B'rith” Missouri Lodge. It states: “In the name of hundreds who have been driven from their houses, deprived of their liberty, and injured in their property without having violated any law or regulation. . . . In the name of religious liberty and humanity. . . [we ask you] to annul that Order and protect the liberties even of your humblest constituents.” Lincoln complied and the order was rescinded.

Henry Kuttner. United Order “Bné B'rith” to Abraham Lincoln. Holograph letter with seal, January 5, 1863. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Robert Lincoln, ca. 1923 (41.3)

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Lincoln's Message to Congress

Both the president and a new Congress had been elected in November 1860. Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861. As was traditional, the Congress was not scheduled to meet until December. After the Civil War broke out in April, President Lincoln conducted the war for three months without congressional aid. He soon recognized that this was to be no short war, and that he needed congressional advice and support. Therefore, Lincoln called Congress into special session and delivered this statement on how he had thus far conducted the war.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Draft of message to Congress. Holograph manuscript page, July 4, 1861. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Robert Lincoln, ca. 1923 (46B.3)

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Ruins in Richmond

The “Burnt District” in Richmond was a pitiable sight for the various photographers who scrambled to record the Confederate capital in the last days of the Civil War. As the government collapsed and people rioted, the fires—meant to destroy the arsenal, bridges, and anything of military value—spread to a large part of the city's prime commercial districts. Richmond's weary and long-suffering inhabitants searched for missing friends and relations and combed the ashes for what could be saved. Photographs such as this, of two soldiers and three young boys with piles of cannonballs in the foreground, serve as a reminder to posterity of the terror and devastation of the war.

A. J. Russell (1830–1902). Ruins in Richmond. Albumen silver print, April 1865. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Alma C. Haupt, 1955 (46.5)

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Andersonville

Twenty years before founding the American Red Cross, Clara Barton distributed supplies and tended to the wounded and dying on Civil War battlefields. Although not the only woman engaged in such work, Barton became one of the most famous because of her efforts to identify dead and missing soldiers, especially those who perished in the Confederate prison located in Andersonville, Georgia. Due to Barton's perseverance, 12,000 graves were officially marked and Andersonville became a national cemetery on August 17, 1865. Barton, who raised the U.S. flag on that day, was overcome by emotion. She writes in her diary “Up and there it drooped as if in grief and sadness, till at length the sunlight streamed out and its beautiful folds filled—the men stuck up the Star Spangled Banner, and I covered my face and wept.”

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Reconstruction

Thomas Nast was the most influential political cartoonist in nineteenth-century America. His editorial cartoons for Harper's Weekly, which he joined in 1862, helped inflame Union sentiment during the Civil War. Nast became one of the most visible and voluble critics of the inadequacies of post-war Reconstruction, which was initiated by Lincoln and carried out by his successor Andrew Johnson. This rampant divisiveness is made apparent when Nast sharply juxtaposes the degradation of Union prisoners at Andersonville with the comfort afforded fallen Confederate president Jefferson Davis during his confinement at Fort Monroe.

Thomas Nast (1840–1902). Union Soldiers in Andersonville Prison/The Rebel Leader, Jeff Davis, at Fortress Monroe. Philadelphia: King & Baird, 1865. Wood engraving. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, 1865 (43.8)

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The Fall of Vicksburg

Vickburg, Mississippi, like many of the other southern cities suffered acutely from the ravages of the Civil War. The city was under siege from May 22 until July 4, 1863, and faced a daily barrage of gunfire from Union forces under U.S. Grant. Utilizing whatever resources were at hand, the Vicksburg Daily Citizen printed this issue on the back of wallpaper. The defiant spirit is still in evidence on July 2 as the paper reads: “The Yankee Generalissimo surnamed Grant has expressed his intention of dining in Vicksburg on the Fourth of July. . . . Ulysses must get into the city before he dines in it.” Vicksburg surrendered two days later.

Vicksburg Daily Citizen. Newspaper printed on wallpaper, July 2, 1863. Reverse (with wallpaper pattern). Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (46A.4)

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Thanksgiving

Though various states claim to have hosted the first Thanksgiving, the annual celebratory custom was most firmly fixed in New England, as memorialized in a famous poem in a volume by Lydia Maria Child. By the beginning of the Civil War most northern and mid-western states, as well as many in the South had adopted this tradition. The holiday was vigorously promoted by the indefatigable editor of the influential mid-nineteenth-century magazine Godey's Lady's Book, Sarah Josepha Hale, who for years had spurred state action and, in this 1863 letter and editorial, helped persuade Abraham Lincoln to make it a national holiday to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

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Civil War Ironclads

The vessels shown here were part of the Mississippi Squadron under the command of Admiral David Dixon Porter (1813–1891). The squadron was created on October 1, 1862, by the transfer of command of the Western Flotilla from the army to the navy. Its purpose was to cooperate with Union land forces in combating guerrillas operating along the western rivers, punish Confederate sympathizers, protect transport and supply ships, and prevent the movement of Confederate troops and supplies.

Ensign D[avid] M[cNeely] Stauffer. Watercolors of Civil War ironclads, ca., 1864–1865. Page 2. Watercolor on paper. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (45.1a,b)

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Lieutenant General Grant

Ulysses S. Grant entered the Mexican War as a first lieutenant and emerged as a captain. Having resigned his commission in 1854, Grant reentered the army in 1861 as a colonel. He rose steadily in rank until he commanded all Union land forces. Shown here is Grant's commission as lieutenant general, which was presented to him by President Abraham Lincoln on March 10, 1864. Grant was subject only to Lincoln as commander in chief.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Commission for Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885) as lieutenant general. March 10, 1864. Holograph manuscript. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (41A)

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Civil War Action

Before shutter speeds of cameras were capable of capturing action, the public's only glimpse of battle came from sketch artists capable of rendering scenes quickly and accurately. Just prior to the Battle of Antietam in mid-September 1862, artist James Queen accompanied a Philadelphia volunteer militia company on a march toward the front and recorded their progress in a series of picturesque watercolors.

James Queen (ca. 1820–1886). Sketches with Co. B 8th Reg. Pa. Ma. Under the officers of the Old Southwark Gaurd [sic] in Chambersburg, 1862. Watercolor on paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift/purchase of Marian S. Carson, 1995 (43.11)

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Diary of a Confederate Woman

The departure of men at the outbreak of Civil War changed the lives of women, burdening them with unaccustomed responsibilities. A remarkable record of the Civil War exists through the personal testimonies of a variety of women. Seen here is an entry from Betty Herndon Maury's diary, which recounts the difficult experience of relocation that many Confederate women and families faced at the eruption of war.

Betty Herndon Maury. Diary entry, June 3, 1861. Page 2. Holograph manuscript diary. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (42.6)

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Thirty-Six Star Flag

One can imagine that this American flag printed as a color woodcut on linen, celebrates the spirit of reunification in the heady days after the Civil War. It was created between the time in which Nevada became the thirty-sixth state on October 31, 1864, and the addition of Nebraska to the United States on March 1, 1867.

Although the Continental Congress passed a resolution that the flag consist of alternating red and white stripes and white stars on a blue ground on June 14, 1777, these design elements were used in a variety of permutations until 1912, when an executive order was issued that established the flag's current proportions. The thirteen red-and-white stripes represent the original thirteen colonies of Virginia, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, and the white stars stand for the states of the union. Throughout its history the flag has remained one of America's most powerful national symbols.

Thirty-Six Star United States Flag. Color woodcut on linen, between 1865–1867. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (2.12)

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Antonia Willard

This delicately crafted lace cap and collar set was purportedly made by Antonia Ford Willard while in prison on charges of spying for the Confederate Army. Willard, who was commissioned honorary aide-de-camp to General Jeb Stuart, was thought to have been instrumental in the capture of E.H. Stoughton by John S. Mosby's Rangers at Fairfax Courthouse in 1863. She was arrested for her alleged involvement, incarcerated in Washington's Old Capitol Prison, and married her captor, Union Army Major Joseph C. Willard, one year later.

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  • Antonia Ford Willard (1838–1871). Lace cap and collar, ca. 1863. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Willard Family (42B)

  • Antonia Ford Willard (1838–1871). Studio portrait by O.H. Willard, Philadelphia. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of the Willard Family (42C)

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“Stop Thief!”

Thomas Nast's renowned illustrations in Harper's Weekly earned him the reputation as the nineteenth century's most influential political cartoonist. His popular editorial cartoons attacked the inadequacies of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and worked to expose the political corruption of the infamous “Tweed Ring” in New York City's Tammany Hall.

Thomas Nast (1840–1902). “Stop Thief!” Published in Harper's Weekly, October 7, 1871. Wood engraving, 1871. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Ben and Beatrice Goldstein, 1999

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Women's War Relief

This broadside pattern gives directions for making slippers for Union soldiers. In the first six months of 1862, the Ladies' Aid Society of Philadelphia distributed more than 1000 pairs of slippers, as well as thousands of boxes of other clothing, bedding, food, medicines, and books. Strapped by meager supplies and time-consuming military redtape, army hospital physicians and field commanders relied heavily on the efforts of voluntary aid groups. Throughout the war-torn country, women made clothing, grew food crops, raised funds, and managed distribution of supplies.

Hospital Slippers for the Sick and Wounded Soldiers of the Union. Philadelphia, 1861. Printed broadside. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (42A)

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Preservation of the Union

A letter from President Lincoln that appears on the front page of the August 25, 1862, New York Times was written in response to Horace Greeley's New York Tribune (August 20, 1862) editorial entitled “The Prayer of Twenty Millions,” in which he beseeched the President to free the slaves at once. The Times, one of the leading Republican papers of the country, was unwavering in its determination that the Federal union should be preserved. It is not surprising that Lincoln sent his letter to the New York Times for publication.

Emancipation or Preservation of the Union? The New York Times. (New York, August 25, 1862). Front page. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (235)

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The Forts of Washington

The city of Washington was extremely vulnerable to military attack during the Civil War. In order to remedy the situation, a ring of sixty-eight fortifications and batteries by the war's close had been built to encircle the city. This annotated map bears an inscription on the verso: “This map was suppressed by the Gov't because of the info it would give the rebels.” The Library has the world's foremost collection of Civil War printed maps.

E.G. Arnold, CE. Topographical Map of the Original District of Columbia and Environs: Showing the Fortifications around the City of Washington. New York: G. Woolworth Colton, 1862. Hand-colored engraving. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (42A.3)

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The Battle of Ft. Sumter

In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the United States. As more states followed suit and the Confederate States of America took shape, many federal installations in the South were taken over by state governments. Fort Sumter, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, continued to fly the U.S. flag, even as Confederate forces surrounded it. Lincoln decided to resupply the fort but not reinforce it, unless resistance was met. After negotiations failed, the first shot was fired on April 12, 1861, in a bombardment that resulted in the fort's surrender. With that shot the Civil War began.

Currier & Ives. Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, April 12 and 13, 1861. Hand-colored lithograph, ca. 1861. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Copyright deposit, ca. 1861 (42B.1) LC-USZC4-528

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A Southern View

During times of war, art often serves as propaganda, as artists seek to demonize the enemy and glorify a cause. During the American Civil War, no artist attacked the Northern war effort more savagely than the satirical printmaker and Southern sympathizer Adalbert J. Volck. A dentist by trade in Baltimore, Maryland, a city which harbored strong secessionist sentiment, Volck covertly published numerous scathing caricatures of Union leaders, including this portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln as the Devil himself, composing the Emancipation Proclamation while trampling the United States Constitution.

Adalbert J. Volck (1828–1912). [Caricature of Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation], in V. Blada's War Sketches. London [Baltimore]: 1864. Lithograph. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (5.3)

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A Civil War Sailor

In need of experienced sailors during the Civil War, the United States Navy recruited free blacks and contraband into its ranks. It is estimated that 18,000 African-American sailors served in the Navy during the Civil War. Blacks worked on most of the naval vessels alongside their white counterparts and received equal pay, living accommodations, medical care, and pensions.

This is an example of an ambrotype, a photographic process used for a brief period of time in the mid–1800s that placed a glass plate negative against a dark background to create a positive image.

Unattributed. [Sailor holding a double case with portraits of Confederate soldiers]. Ambrotype, circa 1865. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Purchase, 1995 (42B.2) LC-USZ62-132206 [ Digital ID# cph 3c32206 ]

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Left-Handed Penmanship

William Oland Bourne, editor of the periodical The Soldier's Friend, sponsored two contests in which Union soldiers and sailors who lost their right arms by disability or amputation during the Civil War were invited to submit samples of their penmanship using their left hands. The first contest in 1866 awarded cash prizes totalling $1,000.

Private J.S. Prendergast, Company F. 24th Massachusetts Infantry, won $20 for this submission describing the battle in which he lost his arm.

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The Fall of Savannah

President Lincoln was genuinely concerned for William T. Sherman's 55,000-man army during the March to the Sea. By operating deep in enemy territory without a line of communication, Sherman was violating every military convention. But with his four-to-one advantage in troop strength and his ability to deceive his opponents as to his destination, Sherman swept through the south from Chattanooga to Atlanta. To Sherman's surprise, Savannah seemed to welcome Federal occupation.

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  • Transcript of telegram from William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–1891) about the fall of Savannah. Telegram transcript, December 22, 1864. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Robert Todd Lincoln, 1923 (41.2a)

  • Abraham Lincoln to Sherman. Holograph letter, December 26, 1864. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Robert Todd Lincoln, 1923 (41.2b)

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General Sherman in Savannah

On December 23, 1864, the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman occupied and captured Savannah. Artist William Waud captured Sherman reviewing his army in Savannah before moving on to his next campaigns in South Carolina and North Carolina. Like his brother Alfred, William was recognized as one of the great sketch artists of the Civil War period.

William Waud (d. 1878). Gen. Sherman Reviewing His Army in Savannah before Starting on His New Campaign, ca. 1864–65. Pencil drawing on green paper. Published in Harper's Weekly, February 11, 1865. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (45.4) Digital ID# ppmsca-09919

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The Battle of Chattanooga

The Confederates were determined to starve the Federal troops out of Chattanooga, which could be used as a Union gateway for movement into Georgia. The Federals were just as determined to stay in possession and break the siege. Major General Grant, recently named commander of the Union's newly created Military Division of the Mississippi, arrived in Chattanooga on October 22, 1863. By mid-November Major General William T. Sherman arrived with 17,000 men which gave the Federals sufficient strength to strike in late November, in a series of battles that broke the siege. Chattanooga remained in Union hands for the rest of the war.

G. H. Blakeslee. Sketch map showing fortifications, Union/Confederate picket lines, rifle pits, “Rebel camp[s]”, roads, railroads, and streams. Pen and ink manuscripts map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Mrs. George W. Volk, 1966 (43.16) Digital ID: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3964c.cw0398200r

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Brother Against Brother

Percival Drayton was denounced by the legislature of his native South Carolina when he chose to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Given command of the USS Pocahontas, Drayton participated in the successful 1861 expedition against Port Royal, South Carolina, during which the defending troops—under the command of his brother, Brigadier General Thomas Drayton—were forced to withdraw inland, with the general himself leaving behind a house and slaves pictured here.

Henry P. Moore (1833–1911). Slaves of the rebel Genl. Thomas F. Drayton, Hilton Head, S.C. Photograph, [May 1862]. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (40.14)

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A Letter Home

A vital source of information and comfort for Civil War soldiers, the mail could be a source of material sustenance as well—when it included “care packages” of food or clothing. In turn, soldiers sometimes tucked portions of their pay into the eloquent, opinionated, and sometimes artistically embellished letters that they dispatched home, like this letter from Charles Reed, who would later receive the Medal of Honor for gallantry during the Battle of Gettysburg. On the Union side alone, some 40,000 letters per day were sent East and about twice that amount in the western theater.

Charles Wellington Reed (1841–1926) to Mrs. Reed, June 20, 1863. Illustrated letter sent from Centreville. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Grace M. Schirmer, 1928 (41A.1)

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Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Walt Whitman made dozens of small notebooks from paper and ribbon to carry with him as he visited wounded Civil War soldiers in Washington area hospitals between 1863 and 1865. In them he comments on the food provided at the Armory Hospital. Other notebooks describe the horrors of war. As a volunteer delegate under the Christian Commission, he consoled the sick and dying and often wrote letters to their families. Personal papers form the core of the Library's unsurpassed Whitman collection, augmented by first editions and proofs of his work, Whitman's personal library, pictorial materials, and selected personal effects.

Alexander Gardner. Carte-de-visite portrait of Whitman, 1864. Albumen print mounted on card. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

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Death of a President

Artifacts of Assassination

When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and eight newspaper clippings, including several favorable to the president and his policies. Given to his son Robert Todd upon Lincoln's death, these everyday items, which through association with tragedy had become like relics, were kept in the Lincoln family for more than seventy years. They came to the Library in 1937 as part of the gift from Lincoln's granddaughter, Mary Lincoln Isham, whose gift included several books and daguerreotypes, a silver inkstand, and Mary Todd Lincoln's seed-pearl necklace and matching bracelets.

It is quite unusual for the Library to keep personal artifacts among its holdings, and they were not put on display until 1976, when then Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin thought their exposure would humanize a man who had become “mythologically engulfed.” But the availability of these artifacts has only piqued interest in the Lincoln myth—the contents of Lincoln's pockets are among the items visitors to the Library most often ask to see.

The playbill announces the fateful performance of Our American Cousin, part of a collection of Lincolniana donated by Alfred Whital Stern.

One of the most complete representations of conspiracy literature as well as newspaper accounts of the assassination, like that in the New York Times pictured here, was assembled by Alfred Whital Stern. The most extensive collection of Lincolniana ever assembled by a private individual, Stern's important gift to the Library in 1953 included books, broadsides, paintings, photographs, medals, manuscripts, and memorabilia.

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O Captain! My Captain!

Walt Whitman (1819–1892) wrote this dirge for the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Published to immediate acclaim in the New York City Saturday Press, “O Captain! My Captain!” was widely anthologized during his lifetime. In the 1880s, when Whitman gave public lectures and readings, he was asked to recite the poem so often that he said: “I'm almost sorry I ever wrote [it],” though it had “certain emotional immediate reasons for being.”

While Whitman is renowned as the most innovative of American poets, this poem is a rare example of his use of rhymed, rhythmically regular verse, which serves to create a somber yet exalted effect. Whitman had envisioned Lincoln as an archangel captain, and reportedly dreamed the night before the assassination about a ship entering harbor under full sail.

Restlessly creative, Whitman was still revising “O Captain! My Captain!” decades after its creation. Pictured here is a proof sheet of the poem, with his corrections, which was readied for publication in 1888. The editors apparently had erred by picking up earlier versions of punctuation and whole lines that had appeared in the poem prior to Whitman's 1871 revision. On the back is written:

“Dear Sirs
Thank you for the little books, No. 32 “Riverside Literature Series”—Somehow you have got a couple of bad perversions in “O Captain,” & I send you a corrected sheet—
Walt Whitman”

The Library holds the world’s largest collection of Walt Whitman materials, featuring more than twenty thousand manuscript items alone.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). “O Captain! My Captain!” Proof sheet with corrections in ink, 1888. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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Account of Lincoln's Assassination

The New York Herald of Saturday, April 15, 1865, carried an account of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was shot at 9:30 p.m., Friday, April 14, 1865, while seated in a box at Ford's Theatre. News of the attack reached the Herald by telegraph in time to make the first edition. Later editions issued during the day, reported on Lincoln's death and the swearing in of Vice President Andrew Johnson as president. Shown here is the 2:00 a.m. edition.

“Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.” The New York Herald (New York). Enlarged. April 15, 1865. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (49.4)

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$100,000 Reward!

The suspicion that John Wilkes Booth had acted as part of a conspiracy of Southern sympathizers in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln reignited Northern rancor and helped doom Lincoln’s plans for a relatively generous peace. This was one of the earliest “Wanted” posters to bear a fugitive’s photograph. Hastily assembled and issued during the few days that Booth was at large, this poster incorporated carte-de-visite photographs of the conspirators, including one of Booth that had been produced as a publicity shot for the actor.

$100,000 Reward! Washington, D.C.: April 20, 1865. Broadside with attached albumen silver prints. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

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Lincoln at Springfield

When Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865, he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch fob, a linen handkerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note and nine newspaper clippings, including several favorable to the president and his policies. Given to his son Robert Todd upon Lincoln's death, these everyday items, which through association with tragedy had become like relics, were kept in the Lincoln family for more than seventy years. They came to the Library in 1937 as part of the gift from Lincoln's granddaughter, Mary Lincoln Isham, whose gift included several books and daguerreotypes, a silver inkstand, and Mary Todd Lincoln's seed-pearl necklace and matching bracelets.

It is quite unusual for the Library to keep personal artifacts among its holdings, and they were not put on display until 1976, when then Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin thought their exposure would humanize a man who had become “mythologically engulfed.” But the availability of these artifacts has only piqued interest in the Lincoln myth—the contents of Lincoln's pockets are among the items visitors to the Library most often ask to see.

The playbill announces the fateful performance of Our American Cousin, part of a collection of Lincolniana donated by Alfred Whital Stern.

One of the most complete representations of conspiracy literature as well as newspaper accounts of the assassination, like that in the New York Times pictured here, was assembled by Alfred Whital Stern. The most extensive collection of Lincolniana ever assembled by a private individual, Stern's important gift to the Library in 1953 included books, broadsides, paintings, photographs, medals, manuscripts, and memorabilia.

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“Now He Belongs To The Ages”

The suspicion that John Wilkes Booth had acted as part of a conspiracy of Southern sympathizers in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln reignited Northern rancor and helped doom Lincoln's plans for a relatively generous peace. This was one of the earliest “Wanted” posters to bear a fugitive’s photograph. Hastily assembled and issued during the few days that Booth was at large, this poster incorporated carte-de-visite photographs of the conspirators, including one of Booth that had been produced as a publicity shot for the actor.

E.B. & E.C. Kellogg. Death of Abraham Lincoln, April 15, 1865. Hartford , CT: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1865. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (49.8) Digital ID# ppmsca-07755

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Lincoln's hand

Shortly after Lincoln was nominated for the presidency, Chicago sculptor Leonard Volk cast the nominee's hands at the Lincoln home in Springfield, Illinois. Lincoln's right hand had become swollen after shaking the hands of countless well-wishers in his hometown. When Volk suggested that his subject hold something, Lincoln sawed off a portion of a broom stick, which is visible in the casting.

Leonard Wells Volk (1828–1895). Cast of Abraham Lincoln's right hand. Bronze. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress. Gift of Alfred Whital Stern, 1953 (51.6)

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The Journey Home

Lincoln would not return to his adopted home of Springfield, Illinois, until his funeral cortege retraced the journey he had made as president-elect five years earlier. The cortege traveled 1,662 miles in fourteen days by train through Philadelphia, New York, Cleveland, Chicago, and finally to Springfield. During the funeral train's slow journey more than 7,000,000 saw Lincoln's coffin and more than 1,500,000 viewed his body. In this engraving, printmaker and publisher Charles Magnus captured the solemnity of April 25, 1865, as the Lincoln's funeral procession approached New York's City Hall.

Charles Magnus. The 25th of April 1865 in New York. Hand-colored wood engraving. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (49.9) Digital ID# ppmsca–12377

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To the West

Cañon de Chelle

From 1871 to 1879, Lt. George Wheeler headed the U.S. Geological Survey West of the 100th Meridian, which collected scientific data about the physical and cultural geography of much of the southwestern U.S., including topography, mineral resources, Indian nations, and other intelligence valuable for settlement and exploration. This image was taken by survey photographer Timothy O'Sullivan, who had worked for Mathew Brady during the Civil War, and a small group traveled thirty-five miles across a dry, desert plateau, descended into this fertile canyon in Arizona. Their campsite is visible in the foreground.

Timothy O'Sullivan (1840–1882). Cañon de Chelle. Walls of the Grand Cañon about 1200 Feet in Height, 1873. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Department of War, Corps of Engineers transfer (114.9)

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Battle of Little Big Horn

As the military stepped up its efforts at removing Indians from lands desired by white settlers, Native American tribes focused their attacks on soldiers. On June 25, 1876, George Armstrong Custer and 264 men of the 7th U.S. Cavalry were slaughtered by Teton Dakota/Sioux and Cheyenne along the banks of the Little Bighorn River in southeastern Montana. Although Custer's conduct is still in dispute, this map and accompanying letter by Lt. Robert Patterson Hughes, an aide-de-camp to expedition commander Major General Alfred Terry, strongly supports the theory that Custer acted recklessly—not only disobeying orders by engaging the enemy before help had arrived but by splitting his command into thirds in the face of overwhelming odds.

Lieutenant Robert Patterson Hughes. Letter to his wife with map of the Battle of Little Big Horn, June 30, 1876. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Drawing. Holograph letter and pen and ink drawing. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (46C.1a,b)

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Surveying Grand Canyon

This panoramic view of the Grand Canyon by William H. Holmes was published in Clarence E. Dutton's 1882 Atlas to Accompany the Monograph on the Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District. This map was made as part of a government-sponsored survey of the canyon, which was the first attempt at stratigraphic mapping in the United States. Holmes was the leading scientific illustrator of topographic and geologic phenomena for the Great Western Surveys following the Civil War. He later became the first director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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  • William H. Holmes. “Foot of Toroweap Looking East” from Capt. Clarence E. Dutton. Monograph of the Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1882. Offset lithograph. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (48A.1)

  • William H. Holmes. “Panoramic View of the Grand Canyon” from Capt. Clarence E. Dutton. Monograph of the Tertiary History of the Grand Cañon District. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1882. Offset lithograph. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (48A.4)

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Map of California

Williamson's sketch is an authentic treasure map of the California gold regions. He was in the forefront of the gold rush, which began in 1849. The rush drew thousands of Americans and Europeans—more than eighty thousand in 1849 alone—to the streams and fields around the Sacramento River. By the end of the year, California's population was roughly a hundred thousand, enough to qualify for statehood.

Robert Stockton Williamson (1824–1882). Map of California, compiled from various authorities by Lt. R.S. Williamson, Topographic Office, Pacific Division, Library of Congress. Manuscript map, 1851. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (48.8)

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Sacramento City

Sacramento's rise from settlement to state capital began with the discovery of gold in January 1848, some fifty miles northeast at John Sutter's sawmill. Situated along the Sacramento and American Rivers, the city became the gateway to the California gold fields. Print publishers all around the country produced views of the new city, both to encourage more visitors and to sell prints. Local businesses depicted in the image supported the publication by paying an advertising fee.

Charles R. Parsons, after George B. Cooper. Sacramento City, Ca. New York: 1850. Color lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZC4-2853 (114.11) [digital ID# cph.3g02853]

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Wagon Train to the West

Daniel Jenks traveled to Yreka, California, twice from his native Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In 1849 he joined thousands of '49ers who poured into California by sailing around Cape Horn. In 1859, after a few months at home, Jenks began his overland journey, intending to mine for gold at Pike's Peak. Disillusioned, he returned to Yreka and, on December 24, 1859, bought a mining claim on Long Gulch, where he had mined previously.

These are four of twenty drawings illustrating his travels that Jenks created after he arrived in Yreka, in 1859. He mailed them home to his sister in Pawtucket with a volume of his edited diary.

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  • Daniel A. Jenks (1827–1869). Pretty Camp-Rocky Mountains [1859]. Graphite and ink on paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (48B.3) LC-USZC4-9432 [digital ID# ppmsc-04811]

  • Camp 23rd Arkansas River [1859]. Graphite, ink, crayon, and watercolor on paper. Purchased through the Ed Cox Americana Fund (Madison Council) Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (48A.6) LC-USZC4-9421 [digital ID# ppmsc-04809]

  • Cherokee Pass [1859]. Graphite and ink on paper. [Digital ID# ppmsca-04813] Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (47A.4) Purchased through the Ed Cox Americana Fund (Madison Council)

  • Camp 120 Eagle Lake, Sierra Nevadas [1859]. Graphite, ink, crayon, and watercolor on paper. [Digital ID# ppmsca-04821] Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (47A.4) Purchased through the Ed Cox Americana Fund (Madison Council)

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Portfolio of the North American Indian

From the 1890s to the 1930s, Edward S. Curtis photographed approximately eighty different Native American groups, including their traditional clothing, crafts, and homes. He published a twenty-eight volume work, the North American Indian, which embraced the romantic notion he and other white Americans held about the vanquished Indian. This image of Tobadzischini,(war god), a participant in the Yebechai dance—a nine-day ritual combining ritual and medicine still practiced today—dates from a 1904 trip to the Southwest he made among the Navajo and Apache. It is unlikely that Curtis photographed the actual sacred ceremony, and this is probably a recreation, a practice to which he frequently resorted.

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The Kansas and Nebraska Territories

Focusing on the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska established by Congress in 1854, this commercially published map also reflects U.S. interest in western expansion and the construction of a transcontinental railroad. Not only are several proposed transcontinental routes boldly marked across the Great Plains, but two insets show the results of the 1854 Gadsden Purchase that finalized the boundaries of the conterminous United States. Like early maps of discovery, empty spaces are filled pictures—not of sea monsters but indigenous wildlife and Native Americans who populated the area.

J. H. Colton (1800–1893). Nebraska and Kansas. New York, 1855. Hand-colored and annotated lithograph map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (49.9) [ G&M Digital ID # g4200 ct00089 ]

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A Journey through Mexico

Benajah Jay Antrim was a professional maker of mathematical instruments in Philaldephia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the forty men of the Camargo Company who went to California via Mexico on January 1849, after the successful termination of the War with Mexico.

Antrim was a gifted watercolorist and left sketchbooks and several journals describing places in Mexico and California. Shown here is the front courtyard of the Cathedral of Guadalajara Built from 1561–1618, it was the most authentically gothic building constructed in Mexico. Many of its features, including several of towers, its choir stall, and main altar, were destroyed by the time of Antrim's rendering, but its facade remained intact.

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  • Benajah Jay Antrim (b. 1821). Sketchbook [documenting Mexico and California]. Watercolor. 1849. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (14D.1)

  • Benajah Jay Antrim (b. 1821). Sketchbook [documenting Mexico and California]. Watercolor. 1849. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (14D.2)

  • Benajah Jay Antrim (b. 1821). Sketchbook [documenting Mexico and California], 1849. Watercolor. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (14D.3)

  • Benajah Jay Antrim (b. 1821). Journal [documenting Mexico and California], 1849. Pen and ink. Page 2. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (14B.4.1–2)

  • Benajah Jay Antrim (b. 1821). Pages from his Journal [documenting San Louis Potasi, Mexico], 1849. Pen and ink. Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (14B.4.3–6)

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Landmark Map of the West

In 1842 and again in 1843–1844, John C. Frémont led expeditions to survey the route of the Oregon Trail from the Missouri River to the Columbia River. On his return in 1844, Frémont traveled into Mexican-held California and then headed east completing a 6,500-mile circuit of the West. Charles Preuss, the expedition's cartographer, prepared this map, depicting only geographic information collected during the expedition. Originally published with Frémont's 1845 report, the map was the first reliable depiction of the emigrants' route through the West since it was based on scientific measurements of latitude and longitude.

Charles Preuss (1803–1854)]. “Map of an Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon & North California in the Years 1843–44 . . .” from John C. Frémont (1813–1890). Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains. . . . Washington: 1845. Hand-colored engraved map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (48A.9) Digital ID# g4051s ct000909

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Stephen Austin's Map of Texas

Texas, the sparsely settled northeastern frontier of Mexico, was inadequately mapped when Stephen Austin visited there in 1821–1822 to locate and confirm a colonization grant originally made to his father. As a result of his travels, he prepared a manuscript map showing settlements in eastern Texas, annotated to show vegetation—prairie land in yellow and wood land in green—making it one of the earliest examples of American thematic mapping.

Stephen F. Austin (1793B1836). Mapa topográfico de la provincia de Texas, ca. 1822. Hand-colored manuscript map. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress (114.12) [ G&M digital ID# g4030 ct000005 ]

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Sam Houston

Sam Houston (1793–1863) was one of the most colorful and controversial figures in Texas history. As commander-in-chief of the Texas Army in 1835, he was wounded in the Battle of San Jacinto, which secured Texas independence from Mexico. When Texas joined the Union, Houston served as one of its senators. He was later elected as governor of Texas. Portraits from life of Sam Houston are extremely rare, only two full-length portraits of him are known to exist. This unpublished photograph was taken in 1856 or 1857, when Houston was a United States Senator.

Unattributed. Sam Houston. Salted paper print, 1856 or 1857. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Acquisition made possible by Nancy Glanville Jewell, Ed Cox, Jean and Jay Kislak, Kay and Tom Martin, John Garvey, Caroline Rose Hunt, Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Jane and Bud Smith, James Elkins, Jr., and Albert Small (31.10)

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A Journey through Mexico

Benajah Jay Antrim was a professional maker of mathematical instruments in Philaldephia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the forty men of the Camargo Company who went to California via Mexico on January 1849, after the successful termination of the War with Mexico.

Antrim was a gifted watercolorist and left sketchbooks and several journals describing places in Mexico and California. Shown here is the front courtyard of the Cathedral of Guadalajara Built from 1561–1618, it was the most authentically gothic building constructed in Mexico. Many of its features, including several of towers, its choir stall, and main altar, were destroyed by the time of Antrim's rendering, but its facade remained intact.

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  • Adolph F. Muhr (d. 1913), photographer. Freckled Face (Arapahoe). Gelatin silver prints. Published by Frank A. Rinehart, Omaha, Nebraska. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. Copyright deposits, 1898 (48C.4)

  • Adolph F. Muhr (d. 1913), photographer. Juan Jose (Pueblo). Gelatin silver prints. Published by Frank A. Rinehart, Omaha, Nebraska. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. Copyright deposits, 1898 (48C.7)

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