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) [Authority to affix the seal to a proclamation for the celebration of George Washington's birthday]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06038 Author/Creator: Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Document signed Date: February 19, 1862 Pagination: 1 p. : docket ; 25.6 x 20.3 cm. + 1 engraving ; b&w ; 27 x 20.2 cm + 1 engraving ; b&w ; 18.3 x 18.4 cm + 1 engraving ; b&w ; 25.2 x 17.5 cm

Partially printed order directing Secretary of State William H. Seward to affix the seal to a proclamation recommending the celebration of Washington's birthday. On February 19, 1862 Lincoln issued an official proclamation recommending that the people of the United States assemble in their "customary places of meeting for public solemnities" on February 22 in honor of Washington's birthday. One black and white full length seated engraving and one bust engraving of Lincoln included. One black and white full length seated engraving of George Washington also included.

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