Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation
 January 23 through June 7, 2015

The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016
Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station

This exhibition focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s mastery of language and how his words changed the course of history. Today, nearly 150 years after the end of the Civil War, he remains an exemplar of exalted leadership in a time of great crisis and people the world over continue to look to him as a standard-bearer for principled governance. Lincoln Speaks explores Lincoln as a writer and public speaker whose eloquence shaped the nation and the world, in his time and in ours.
Organized in conjunction with scholars at the Gilder Lehrman Institute and drawing heavily on its renowned collection of American historical documents, the exhibition is presented thematically and chronologically. With additional contributions from the Shapell Foundation, Harvard College Library, the Library of Congress, and the Morgan’s collection of Lincoln manuscripts and letters, it includes photographic portraits and books owned and used by Lincoln, and highlights the range of his rhetorical powers, from the elevated language of his proclamations and great speeches to his forceful, incisive military memos and the intimate prose of personal letters to family and friends. Lincoln drew upon his powers as a writer and orator to sustain the country during its greatest crisis and to inspire Americans to embrace the ultimate purpose of the Civil War: the end of slavery. The show coincides with the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination, and assesses the scale of Lincoln’s achievement, and his national and global legacy, through the power of his words.

A complete online version of the exhibition, along with supplemental materials, is available at [ ]The Lincoln Institute.


Elizabeth Frangella, Ed.D
Associate Superintendent for Curriculum