A new exhibit that opened Saturday at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library focuses on some of our 16th president’s famous speeches. The exhibit is called “Undying Words”, and centers on five speeches Lincoln gave between 1858 and his assassination in 1865. The earliest is the “House Divided” speech that Lincoln gave at the Illinois State Capitol, ahead of his series of debates with Stephen Douglas.
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Lincoln Collection Curator James Cornelius says it was through those debates that Lincoln’s power as a speaker was recognized. “Those debates were covered in the national newspapers,” Cornelius said. “This had never happened before for a Senate race, especially out in a western frontier state like Illinois.” Included in the exhibit are more than 120 documents and artifacts related to Lincoln and his speeches. The Chicago History Museum is also contributing items that have never been displayed at the Lincoln Library before, such as the carriage the Lincolns used in Washington.