Celebrating Thomas Edison in the Collection on the Anniversary of His Lighting New York City

On September 4, 1882, the first electrical lighting in New York City signaled a new era of urban illumination.

Pearl Street Station, the first central power station in the world, was operated by Thomas Alva Edison and the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of New York, which would later become Consolidated Edison, and it was from here the switch was flipped.

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Robert E. Lee’s condolence letter to his son Rooney, 1864

In this beautifully written letter, Confederate general Robert E. Lee attempts to console his son William Fitzhugh "Rooney" Lee on the loss of his wife. The letter demonstrates the emotion that Lee felt for his family and offers a glimpse of the strength that carried Lee through the war. His faith in God, his empathy for others’ misfortunes, and his belief in the Confederate cause, all granted Lee the fortitude he needed to endure the war. One can see all of these attributes in this single, short missive.
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Scholar’s Blog - Aaron Sheehan-Dean

March 31, 1863: Halleck Instructs Grant
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Playing ball for the troops: Yankees/Dodgers/Giants exhibition benefit game, 1943

There’s no denying the important role that baseball has played in America’s past. It has always been considered more than a game, whether played by professional athletes or kids at the sandlot. This was never more obvious than during World War II. By 1943, the war was raging in Europe and the Pacific. American mothers and fathers sent their sons to war and those who stayed home made whatever sacrifices they could, great or small.
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"Document of the Month" - April 2013

If you don’t see the full story below, click here (PDF) or click here (Google Docs) to read it—free!
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Former slave, Doctor Cuffee Wells, 1781

Sometimes a simple document can open the door to a great story. In this statement dated 1781, Richard Lamb and John Nutter verify that Cuffee Wells enlisted in the Continental Army in May 1777 and earned a bounty of 30 pounds, part of which was given to his master. Likewise, Justice of the Peace Benjamin Huntington confirmed that Cuffee’s commanding officer, Captain Jedediah Hyde of Norwich, "always understood that the money that was given to Wells at his Enlistment Purchased his Freedom." It is not clear why this document was created.
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Scholar’s Blog - Aaron Sheehan-Dean

February 23, 1863: Vallandigham Denounces the Draft
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Recent Press Mentions

The Gilder Lehrman Institute in Philanthropy Magazine

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Richard Gilder (left) and Lewis Lehrman (right) speak with students at Notre Dame Preparatory Academy.The July 2018 issue of

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The Hamilton Education Program in Education Dive

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In an article published today on Education Dive, Urban Assembly Media High School student Yadry Monsanto discusses her Hamilton Education Program experience on April 25, 2018: 

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Lewis E. Lehrman's Lincoln and Churchill: Statesmen at War

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We are pleased to announce the latest publication by Lewis E. Lehrman, the co-founder of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, a renowned historian, and a National Humanities Medal winner. Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War, provides a new perspective on two of the greatest English-speaking statesmen and their remarkable leadership in wars of national survival. In the first book-length comparison of these two renowned war leaders, Mr.

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