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( Article orginally published July 1952 )
Howard University Library, Washington, D. C., recently presented an exhibition of Lincolniana. from the private collection of Dr. John E. Washington, author of "They Knew Lincoln (1942)."
Included in the display were numerous early photographs. Among these were those of Lincoln's Union Generals, Lincoln's Cabinet, eminent opponents of slavery, Union Navy Officers, the Military Commission which tried the conspirators, Dr. Joseph K. Barnes, in charge of Lincoln after he was wounded, Dr. Charles Crane, who pronounced Lincoln's death, Dr. Abbott, who released the bulletins concerning his condition, Dr. J. J. Woodward, the surgeon who performed the autopsy on the body of President Lincoln and that of his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln and McClellan at Antietam, October 1862, Admiral David D. Porter, General Robert E. Lee, Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln, William Slade (Lincoln's Messenger), Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, modiste to Mrs. Lincoln, John Henry Coghill, the last surviving witness of the capture and death of Booth, and James Young, the last colored man to look upon the face of Lincoln. A few of the small Brady photographs from the large collection owned by Dr. Washington are included. One case consisted of photographs of notable Lincoln scholars examining the Robert Todd Lincoln Collection, at its opening in the Library of Congress, July 26, 1947.
Manuscript letters verifying the authenticity of exhibit items such as the strands of Lincoln's hair removed April 15, 1865, by his messenger, pieces of the blood-stained dress worn by Mrs. Lincoln the night of the assassination and a piece of bloodstained sheet upon which the President died were displayed.
Among the valuable manuscripts exhibited were 'the pardon signed by Lincoln for the release of a prisoner, April a, 1863, and the original manuscript notes on the "Vicksburg Campaign" by the correspondent of the Galena (Illinois) Advertiser.
Interesting broadsides on exhfbition included Confederate broadsides, a large group of Confederate envelopes, the Bill of Fare of the Presidential Inauguration Ball and the Order of the Funeral Procession. Sheet music, Currier and Ives lithographs and contemporary newspapers enhanced the flavor of the Civil War Period.