Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) [Presidential pardon of Arthur O'Bryan, who had been convicted in the District of Columbia of attempted bestiality in August 1857].

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04335 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Document signed Date: 19 August 1861 Pagination: 2 p. 42.2 x 25.7 cm

Pardoned by Lincoln near the end of his sentence because of his exemplary behavior in prison, because he had been decent and well-behaved, but was drunk when he committed the offense, and at the request of a large number of respected citizens. Countersigned by Secretary of State William H. Seward.

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