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Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University Library Collection of Abraham Lincoln Materials
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
4 boxes and 4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scahsvm): Box 3-4
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected material by and about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of selected correspondence and documents, both original and facsimiles, of Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. The correspondence includes an autograph letter to R. M. Corwin; a letter to Princeton University President John MacLean, dated Dec. 27, 1864, in which Lincoln acknowledges the award of an honorary degree; two letters to James Gordon Bennett; and two sheets of material regarding Edward Lewis and William H. Herndon, who were clients of Lincoln when he was a lawyer in Illinois. The documents include an original engrossed souvenir copy of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for the abolition of slavery. Written on vellum and dated February 1, 1865, the document was signed by Lincoln and other officers of Congress after it was approved by both houses. There is a signed document regarding the acceptance of Carl Messing's credentials. There are also documents for the appointment of John T. Robinson as Deputy Postmaster in Princeton, New Jersey, William L. Dayton, Jr. (Princeton Class of 1861), as Assistant Secretary of the United States Legation in Paris, Rev. Nathaniel West as Chaplain of the United States Hospital at Philadelphia, and Otis F. Presbrey as Tax Assessor in the State of New York. Also included are a photostat of a speech on "Sectionalism"; an inauguration day pass dated March 3, 1865, and an envelope addressed to "Mr. Linken, the Presendent" with "Death to Traitors!" printed on the outside, which is postmarked May 15, 1861. In addition, there is a silver gelatin photograph copy of a Lincoln photograph, No. 180 of 500, made by the Curtiss Studio of New Haven, Conn., from an original by Alexander Gardner that was taken on February 5, 1865, in Washington, D.C.

In addition, there is a letter (Jan. 9, 1945) and a typewritten copy of an article titled "When Lincoln came to Cape May" (accompanied by members of the Field family).

Collection History


The engrossed souvenir copy of the 13th Amendment was a gift of William G. Mennen, Jr., Princeton Class of 1936, on November 25, 1964 . (AM 18546)


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

During 2022, restrictions on original letters and documents, including the copy of the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Princeton University Library Collection of Abraham Lincoln Materials; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scahsvm): Box 3-4
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1