November 8, 2008

Lincoln speech auction to finance new Southworth wing

I'm not sure why this hasn't turned up in the Ithaca JournalThe Ithaca Journal article somehow slipped by me, and the Cortland Standard hasn't put it online, but at least the AP reported it:

Christie's is auctioning a handwritten copy of the 1864 speech Abraham Lincoln delivered at the White House after being re-elected in the midst of an unpopular Civil War that both he and his opponents believed might cost him his job....

Proceeds from the sale will go toward a new wing for the library, located in New York's Finger Lakes region. According to the library's Web site, it was displayed only once, during the 1976 bicentennial celebration.

The connection between the speech and Dryden? Congressman John Dwight. Like his father, he was successful in both business and politics, Republican politics. As the article reports:

Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, presented the manuscript to New York Congressman John A. Dwight as a thank-you for his efforts in securing funding for the construction of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

I've heard talk about the need to expand the Southworth Library for years. While it always pains me to see historical artifacts go off to auction, this isn't a specifically Dryden artifact, it's for an excellent cause, and it may even bring the speech the additional attention it doubtless deserves. Hopefully there will be enthusiastic bidders.

Update: The Dryden Courier not only reports on this, they run the speech as an editorial. Definitely worth a look! And Les Cleland notes in comments that this isn't a copy, but the only original.

Posted by simon at November 8, 2008 11:25 AM in
Note on photos


Les Cleland said:

Both The Ithaca Journal and The Cortland Standard have run front page extensive articles on Thurs., 11/6. The CS printed the full text of the manuscript. The AP release is not completely correct in that the item being auctioned is not a copy, it is the only original. Thanks for your support.

David Makar said:

I think I saw a picture of Mike Lane and a long story in this week's (last Wednesday's) Ithaca Times too.

KAZ said:

And it made the Syracuse Post-Standard on Sunday.