An exhibition about Abraham Lincoln has opened this past weekend in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Titled “Lincoln: The Constitution And The Civil War and Lincoln Slept Here,” the exhibition is a collaborative effort between the Heinz History Center and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA.
“Lincoln: The Constitution And The Civil War” has been shown previously in other U.S. cities, including at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is an outstanding exhibit. If you missed it in Cincinnati, now is your opportunity to visit it in Pittsburgh. The purpose of this exhibit is to examine Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War as they pertained to the U.S. Constitution. It features rare Lincoln artifacts, including a top hat; original copies of The Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment (outlawing slavery); campaign ribbons; etc. My review of the exhibit may be found here .
The Heinz Center has added something new to the exhibit, though. “Lincoln Slept Here” is the new addition and features an original bed and bedroom set from the Monongahela House, the hotel where Lincoln stayed overnight in Pittsburgh (February 14, 1861) during his journey to Washington for his inauguration. The room he stayed in has been recreated in the museum and also contains the original washstand, dressing mirror, chairs, and even the chamber pot. Photos of other famous Lincoln-used beds are shown in this portion of the exhibit, including his birth bed; White House bed; and his death bed. “Lincoln Slept Here” explores Lincoln’s visit to Pittsburgh, including his speech in which he tried to calm an anxious nation’s fears.
The link I provided above to the Heinz History Center exhibition contains a video sneak preview. Check it out. The exhibition runs until 2010, so there is plenty of time yet to visit it. I plan on it myself, as I’ve never visited the History Center. It’s associated with The Smithsonian Institution, so it must be excellent.