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Museums

January 5, 2012

Abe Lincoln Museum offers look at artifact of the month

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — January Artifact of the Month at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.:

Commissioner’s sale document, 1859

The hope of Lincoln and others that slavery might wither away as the nation expanded westward proved horribly wrong.

When Lincoln was a young man, a slave was sold, on average, every four minutes; by the 1850s, it was every three minutes, and trying to slow or end this tragedy led Lincoln to re-enter politics, at first with little success.

That slaves were being sold in the place of his birth — Hardin County, Ky. — accented his personal sorrow as well as the nation’s worsening ideological rift.

As president, Lincoln had to send men into war to save the Union and to end these sales — and he proved historically correct. Visit alplm.org for more information.

 For more information on the document, listen to “Stories from the Vault” podcast: www.alplm.org/blog/podcast-2.

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