Remembering Abe

April 15, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. We’re sharing Lincoln-related objects from our collections to commemorate this anniversary. See his progress from candidate, to president, to mourned leader.
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Mary Todd Lincoln took her role as first lady seriously. She wore this purple velvet skirt with daytime bodice during the 1861-62 Washington winter social season. Both the skirt and bodice are piped with white satin, and the bodice is trimmed with mother-of-pearl buttons.

Mary Lincoln’s purple velvet skirt with daytime bodice by dressmaker Elizabeth Keckly

Mary Lincoln used this black onyx mourning lapel watch as her personal timepiece for the remainder of her life after Abraham Lincoln's death.

*MARY LINCOLN ~ used this black onyx mourning lapel watch as her personal timepiece for the remainder of her life after Abraham Lincoln's death.

Lincoln purchased this gold watch in the 1850s after achieving success as a lawyer. He continued using the watch during his years as president, and various watchmakers engraved secret messages pertaining to the Civil War inside while repairing it.

Lincoln purchased this gold watch in the after achieving success as a lawyer. He continued using the watch during his years as president, and various watchmakers engraved secret messages pertaining to the Civil War inside while repairing it.

Ever wonder what Lincoln wore while president? Here's the black broadcloth coat, vest, and trousers he wore as his office suit during his time in the White House.

Lincoln’s Office Suit Abraham Lincoln wore the black broadcloth coat, vest, and trousers displayed here as his every day office suit during his presidency.

Because Lincoln's assassination was considered an act of war, the military assumed control of the proceedings. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton made the accused wear these canvas hoods in their cells and on their way to trial.

Eight cotton hoods worn by the alleged conspirators who were charged for the killing of Abraham Lincoln in

Lincoln often wore this dark wool shawl over his shoulders during cold weather.  Many years later, Robert Todd Lincoln gave this shawl to his friend, Washington attorney Frederick Harvey.

Lincoln often wore this dark wool shawl over his shoulders during cold weather. Many years later, Robert Todd Lincoln gave this shawl to his friend, Washington attorney Frederick Harvey.

On April 19, 1865, an estimated 25 million Americans attended memorial services for Lincoln in Washington and around the country. Lincoln's body traveled through the country on a funeral train, allowing mourners to pay their last respects as it passed through. This flag accompanied the train on its route between Albany and Utica, NY.

One of two flags that flew from the locomotive of the Lincoln funeral train on the route between Albany and Utica, New York. On April an estimated 25 million Americans attended memorial services for Abraham Lincoln in Washington and around the country

The 1962 Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that as of January 1, 1863 all persons held in slavery in areas still in rebellion would be "then, thenceforward, and forever free," would be a defining moment in Lincoln's presidency.  Major Thomas Eckert in the War Department telegraph office kept this brass inkstand, which he said Lincoln used at the time the Proclamation was issued.

While at the telegraph office waiting for news from the front in President Lincoln began to pen the first draft of his Emancipation Proclamation, borrowing the desk and this brass inkwell of Major Thomas T.

Lincoln's reelection in 1864 was not a sure thing. He ran against a variety of candidates including General George McClellan, whom he had removed from command.  This poster shows portraits of the candidates in that election, alongside descriptions of their parties' platforms.

Vintage Posters - United States map showing loyal states in green what the rebels still hold in red and what the Union soldiers have wrested from them in yellow Civil War Maps and Drawings - Civil War Maps and Drawings-For Guest Room

During his 1860 campaign, Lincoln became known as “the railsplitter,” a reference to his past as a laborer. Here’s an initialed iron wedge that young Lincoln used to split wood.

During his 1860 campaign, Lincoln became known as “the railsplitter,” a reference to his past as a laborer. Here’s an initialed iron wedge that young Lincoln used to split wood.

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