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Category: Abraham Lincoln

Carla Hayden, at left, hands a crystal trophy to George Saunders, at right.

George Saunders Accepts the Library’s Prize for American Fiction

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Novelist, short-story writer and essayist George Saunders was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction Saturday evening in one of the final sessions of the 2023 National Book Festival, conferring a lifetime honor on a versatile writer whose most famous book cast one of Washington's most famous residents in a surreal light. Saunders' 2017 novel "Lincoln in the Bardo" took a fantastical look at the visit President Abraham Lincoln paid to his young son's tomb in a Georgetown cemetery one night in 1862.

Head and shoulders sepia-toned photo of Rebecca Pomroy, facing front. She is middle aged, smiling, with white hair coiled into a bun on either side of her head

A Civil War Story: Rebecca Pomroy, Lincoln’s Nurse

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Rebecca Pomeroy, a Civil War nurse, was assigned to the White House in 1862 to help the grieving Lincoln family deal with the loss of their 11-year-old son, Willie, to typhoid fever. The story of her relationship with the Lincoln family is revealed in a collection of her papers, photographs are artifacts that are now preserved at the Library as part of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Library of the Unexpected: Cocaine, Hair and…Wedding Cake?

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Library of Congress has unexpected items in its vast collections -- the contents of Lincoln's pockets when he was assassinated; cocaine used in a groundbreaking 19th-century surgery; a lock of Beethoven's hair; 3,000 year old cuneiform tablets from modern-day Iraq; Mesoamerican incense burners that are more than 2,000 years old; and a piece of Tom Thumb's wedding cake, now nearly 160 years old.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Inauguration Stories: Lincoln’s 1865 “With Malice Toward None” Speech

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address, delivered as the Civil War was in its final weeks, was one of most important in American history, featuring the immortal line, "With malice toward none, with charity for all." Michelle Krowl, the Library's Civil War and Reconstruction historian, explains how the day unfolded in this short video.