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Selection of U.S. historical treasures exhibited at the Morgan Library & Museum this fall
George Washington (1732–1799), Letter to Henry Knox, Mount Vernon, Virginia, 1 April 1789. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
NEW YORK, NY.- This fall, the Morgan Library & Museum will display a selection of exceptional documents from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, one of the country’s foremost collections of Americana. The presentation, which will be on view from September 10, 2013, represents transformative moments and key figures in U.S. history, and reflects the collection’s strengths in documents from the Revolutionary, early national, antebellum, and Civil War periods. Reflections on a Nation will be on view in the Morgan’s 1906 McKim building through January 12, 2014.

The Morgan has enjoyed a nearly two-decade-long relationship with the Gilder Lehrman Institute, which was founded by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman in 1994. That same year the Morgan presented Seeds of Discord: The Politics of Slavery, an acclaimed exhibition featuring documents from the collection.

On view in Reflections on a Nation will be the only surviving copy of a 1776 edition of the Declaration of Independence printed in the South. South Carolinian Peter Timothy put his life on the line by publishing his name on the document. Indeed, four years later he was arrested, charged with treason, and confined to a British prison ship before being incarcerated in St. Augustine, Florida.

In 1789, thirteen years after the commencement of the Revolutionary War, George Washington reluctantly assumed the presidency of the United States. In a letter penned to secretary of war Henry Knox, Washington expressed his apprehensions: “my movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution.”

Displayed alongside a first edition of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin will be the author’s letter to Albert, Prince Consort and husband of Queen Victoria. Written to accompany a presentation copy of her novel, the letter conveys Stowe’s deep admiration for Britain’s abolition of slavery throughout the Empire in 1833.

In a stump speech fragment from Abraham Lincoln’s 1858 Senate campaign against Stephen Douglas, he argues that all creatures are entitled to the fruits of their own labor and appeals to the public’s common sense: “Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.”

Also on display will be a poignant letter from Frederick Douglass to Mary Todd Lincoln. In it, Douglass thanks the president’s widow for the gift of her husband’s walking stick, noting that it was not merely a memento, but an indication of Lincoln’s “humane interest [in the] welfare of my whole race.”





Today's News

September 10, 2013

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Exhibition of works by John McCracken opens at David Zwirner in New York

Here comes the bride: Irma Stern is back at Bonhams South African Art Sale in London

Selection of U.S. historical treasures exhibited at the Morgan Library & Museum this fall

Johns, Lichtenstein, Stella: Masterprints of Contemporary Art on view at Marc Straus

Sound installation by Janet Cardiff presented at Metropolitan Museum's The Cloisters

Anish Kapoor opens his first exhibition in Turkey at the Sakip Sabanci Museum

New exhibition of J.D. Salinger letters shows a young writer balancing cynicism and hope

Christie's Paris to offer the Collection of Jacques and Galila Hollnader on 16 October

Waverly Rare Books in Falls Church to auction iconic Washington photos by Theodor Horydczak

Swann Galleries' October 3 Auction of African American Fine Art focuses on influential Post War period

25-year survey of the prints and editions of New York artist Peter Halley at Carl Solway Gallery

Carol Conover named new Chairman of Asia Week New York

"Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age" opens at the Harry Ransom Center

The Birmingham Museum of Art uses Contemporary Art to commemorate Civil Rights bombing

Dazzling blue diamonds and historic pearls among highlights of Bonhams Fine Jewellery Sale

Still Life: 102 vases by 99 artists opens at De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art

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