One of the recent exhibition that the Shapell Manuscript Foundation took part of was called “With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition.” Located in the Durham Museum in Omaha, the exhibit honors the sixteenth president’s two-hundredth birthday.
Instead of focusing on Lincoln’s life as a president, the exhibit brings to life Lincoln the man. It shows how the president’s thoughts, actions and words were influenced both by historical events and personal experiences.
One manuscript on display was that of a short address delivered by Lincoln before taking the Oath of Office for the second time. It reads: “Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war, rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish… And the war came.”
Another is a very short note written after Lincoln heard reports of the Battle of the Wilderness: “I would give a sentiment, but just now I am not in a sentimental mood.”
An letter from 1860, written to political operative Phillips, reads: “Just now, the skies look bright. What clouds may hereafter rise, we know not.”
The Shapell Manuscript Foundation is an organization which collects and researches historical documents and manuscripts. The foundation focuses on the complex histories of the U.S. and the Holy Land, and the collection includes original letters, manuscripts and documents of world-influencing individuals and significant political figures such as the American presidents, Albert Einstein, Theodor Herzl and Mark Twain.