Lincoln's Life in Letters

Lincolns Life In Letters Home pageA portrait of President Lincoln taken by Matthew B. Brady in 1864. Lincoln sits, gazing at the viewer from an armchair.

We remember Abraham Lincoln most through his words. Certainly, we can all immediately imagine his famous face and tall figure, but what Lincoln said and wrote shape how we see him and what we can still learn from him.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum proudly holds more than 1,600 documents in Lincoln’s hand and even more from members of his family and contemporaries. This exhibit explores items from that collection that provide glimpses of critical moments in Lincoln’s story. We invite you to read these words and reflect on what they mean to you.

Lincoln's Childhood

Life in New Salem

Lincoln the Lawyer

The Debates

1860 Campaign

The Lincoln Family


Gettysburg Address

Mary Lincoln

The documents highlighted in this exhibit are all drawn from our own collection. The originals are in our vault and the images were created by our Papers of Abraham Lincoln project. To see more documents written to and by Lincoln from all over the world, please visit If you have a Lincoln document, or know someone who does, please reach out to us. We are always looking for new discoveries.

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