As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

America's New Birth of Freedom: Documents from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

New Birth of Freedom

An exhibition of 10 rare and important documents from the Lincoln Library in Springfield, Illinois. These documents have become the cornerstone of current thinking on Lincoln and his legacy and will include a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. The exhibition includes letters expressing Lincoln's views on emancipation and the conclusion of the Civil War, including Lincoln's letter to James C. Conkling in which he makes his forceful defense of the Emancipation Proclamation, and his letter to Francis Blair on his unwavering demands for peace.

What was the aim of the Emancipation Proclamation?  Can slavery be justified?  Select a question to hear an answer to these and other questions in Lincoln's own words. 

Visit Web site

Recommended: Windows Media Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader