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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Volck, Adalbert John (1828-1912) Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00493.03 Author/Creator: Volck, Adalbert John (1828-1912) Place Written: s.l. Type: Print Date: circa 1880-1890 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Depicts a menacing-looking Lincoln slumping in his chair writing the Emancipation Proclamation with his left foot sitting on top of a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Demon imagery is found throughout. The Statue of Liberty's head is covered by Lincoln's Scotch cap to simulate a baboon. Background has two paintings. One depicts the slave rebellion on Saint Domingo and the other John Brown as "St. Ossawotamie." Osawotamie is a reference to a battle at the town of Osawatomie, Kansas in August 1856 when some 250 border ruffians attacked the free-soil town. Brown defended the town with 30 men, but it was burned to the ground and his son, Frederick, was killed by a bullet through the heart. A curtain is pulled back from a window showing a flock of birds ominously flying in the distance. Size in extent is for the mount. The actual size of the etching is 20.4 x 26.2 cm. Title found in pencil on verso.

People: Volck, Adalbert John, 1828-1912.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Emancipation, US Constitution, African American History, Abolition, Art, Music, Theater, and Film, President Emancipation Proclamation, Slavery, John Brown, Bleeding Kansas, Slave Rebellion, Caribbean, Civil War, Presidential Speeches and Proclamations, Propaganda

Sub Era: The American Civil War African Americans and Emancipation