About the Exhibition

“Lincoln Speaks: Words that Transformed a Nation,” co-curated by The Gilder Lehrman Institute and The Morgan Library and Museum, presents a fascinating and varied look at how Abraham Lincoln’s language and words changed history. Abraham Lincoln delighted in the rich possibilities of language. Throughout his life, he strove to honor the written and spoken word. Largely self-taught, he achieved a literary command that helped him to win the presidency, to define in memorable prose the purposes that had shaped the nation, and to lead the nation through a Civil War. Richard Carwardine, Rhodes Professor of American history and President, Corpus Christi College, Oxford University served as historical adviser to the exhibition. The exhibition was co-curated by Sandra Trenholm of the Gilder Lehrman Collection and Declan Kiley of the Morgan Museum and Library.

The items in the exhibition are drawn from The Gilder Lehrman Collection and The Morgan Library Collection, with additional loans from The Shapell Manuscript Foundation, Harvard College Library, The Library of Congress, The Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation and the New York Historical Society.