Search Our Catalog

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

April 27, 2013 – May 31, 2013

America faced its greatest constitutional test with the election of Abraham Lincoln as the nation’s 16th president in 1860. Divided: Are We Single Nation? Bound: Can Slavery Be Uprooted? Dissent: Must Civil Liberties Give Way?

National Constitution Center LogoALA American Library Association LogoNational Endowment for the Humanities Logo

Based on an original interactive exhibit developed by the National Constitution Center, this traveling version explores Lincoln’s struggle to resolve the contested issues dividing America at the most perilous moment in our nation’s history.

President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront these three crises of war, ultimately reinventing the Constitution and the promise of American life.

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

The traveling exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment.

Further Your Understanding of Lincoln and the Civil War

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Exhibit Opening Gala
The Glen Ellyn community celebrated the grand opening of Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War exhibit. Guests met Abraham Lincoln and listened to his inaugural address, heard live performances of Civil War era music, and learned about the Glen Ellyn community’s involvement with the Underground Railroad. Guests had the war come to life through the eyes of three Illinois women, including Jennie Hodgers, who fought in the war for three years disguised as a male soldier, and through a surgeon from the 17th Corps Field Hospital who discussed medial treatments on the battlefield.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln: Fact or Fiction
Film critic Brian Tallerico discussed the historical accuracy of the movie Lincoln. Tallerico, a member of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Film Critics Association, serves as content director for and appears weekly on WGN-AM 720. Tallerico showed several clips from the film, discussed the history behind the events, and took questions from the audience.