This Presidents’ Day, stop by Falvey Memorial Library’s first floor to view a replica of “The Lincoln Bible.” Used during his inauguration in 1861, the Lincoln Bible didn’t actually belong to the President. The clerk of the Supreme Court, William Thomas Carroll, was the owner of the Bible Lincoln placed his hand upon. The Bible remained in Carroll’s possession until it was acquired by the Lincoln family sometime after the president’s assassination in 1865. Now known as “The Lincoln Bible,” the original copy is currently housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The Lincoln Bible was used by President Barack Obama at his inaugurations in 2009 and 2013. President Donald Trump also used the Bible at his inauguration in 2017.
The replica mirrors The Lincoln Bible as it appeared in 1861, as it was not possible to duplicate the wear and fading of the original copy. More features of the replica are listed below:
- 280-page, 1853 Oxford University Edition.
- Inscription of William Thomas Carroll, complete with the seal of the Supreme Court.
- Velvet-covered; framed with brass borders and has a brass clasp, authentic gilded edges, and two ribbon markers.
The Lincoln Bible will be on display in the Library’s first floor Wednesday, Feb. 16, through Monday, Feb. 28.
Mary Lincoln gave the Bible to the Rev. Noyes W. Miner, a friend of the President, seven years after her husband’s death. Having been passed down through the generations, Miner’s descendants recently disclosed its existence and donated it to the public.
For more on President Lincoln, whose 213th birthday is Feb. 12, check out the links below:
- Abraham Lincoln
- The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (Paludan, 1994)
- Lincoln: A President for the Ages (Weber, 2012)
- A. Lincoln: A Biography (White, 2009)
- Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction (Guelzo, 2009)
- Lincoln: The Screenplay (Kushner, 2012)
- Lincoln (DVD, 2013)
- Hand accounts of Lincoln’s funeral procession in Chicago and Philadelphia (Sherman Thackara Collection)
Looking for a specific resource on President Lincoln? Contact, Jutta Seibert, History Librarian. A special thank you to Andrew McKeough, ’19 CLAS for the exhibit concept.
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.
- Baker, P. (2019, June 20). A New Lincoln Bible, From a Mantel to a Presidential Library. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/19/us/politics/abraham-lincoln-bible.html
- Magazine, S., & Katz, B. (n.d.). A Bible Owned by Lincoln, Unknown to Historians for 150 Years, Goes on Display. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/bible-owned-lincoln-unknown-historians-150-years-goes-display-180972473/
- The Story Behind the Lincoln Bible at Obama’s Inauguration. (n.d.). US News & World Report. Retrieved February 7, 2022, from https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/god-and-country/2008/12/23/the-story-behind-the-lincoln-bible-at-obamas-inauguration
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