Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

February 13, 2013

Emancipation Proclamation on display in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The original Emancipation Proclamation, a document that changed the lives of countless African-Americans during the Civil War, is going on display in Nashville as the fragile historical document makes its only stop in the Southeast on a 150th anniversary tour.

The exhibit opens Tuesday — fittingly on the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday — at the Tennessee State Museum and runs through Monday. It’s a rare visit outside the nation’s capital for the original document Lincoln signed in 1863 declaring “forever free” all slaves held in Confederate states rebelling against the Union.

Because lights are harmful to the papers, the document can only be viewed for 72 hours over the course of the six days. After Feb. 18, a replica of the Emancipation Proclamation will be on display until the exhibit ends Sept. 1.

Bruce Bustard, senior curator at the National Archives where the document is kept, said Tennessee was a key battleground in the war, so he expects the “Discovering The Civil War” exhibit will draw many visitors interested in seeing some of the original documents from the war.

“Tennessee was an incredibly important state during the Civil War,” he said. “There were more battles in Tennessee than any other state in the Union except for Virginia.”

The exhibit is organized by topic, rather than chronologically like most Civil War museum exhibits. It emphasizes a wide range of documents, records and artifacts that have been preserved at the National Archives.

“What we are trying to do is tell you the little-known stories, and also some seldom seen documents and unusual perspectives on the war,” said Bustard, during a preview of the exhibit Monday.

The museum gave out all of some 18,000 reservations for visitors and school groups, but it will be accommodating additional walk-in visitors, spokeswoman Mary Skinner said.

On Jan. 1, 1863, Lincoln made good on a pledge issued 100 days earlier, signing a final proclamation declaring all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union to be free.

The proclamation wouldn’t end slavery outright and wasn’t even enforceable at the time by Lincoln in areas under Confederate control. But the president made clear from that day forward that his forces would be fighting to put the Union back together without the institution of slavery.

Along with the original proclamation, the exhibit also displays the original signed copy of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery in 1865, and the 1861 unratified amendment that would have prevented the federal government from interfering in slavery.

“We didn’t want to give people the impression that the emancipation was one moment, that slavery ended from the Emancipation Proclamation for example,” he said. “We wanted to get across the idea that the end of slavery was really an uneven and unsteady process, but that the United States moved a tremendous distance from 1861 and 1865.”

The exhibit also features several interactive elements, including a video of reunions of Civil War troops, readings of letters sent home from the front lines and touch screens that allow visitors to explore historical documents.

The exhibit originally opened at the National Archives in 2010 and traveled to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., and the Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston before making its final stop in Nashville.

The proclamation has been rarely shown because it was badly damaged decades ago by long exposure to light. For many years it was kept at the State Department with other presidential proclamations before being transferred in 1936 to the National Archives.

———

Follow Kristin Hall on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kmhall .

 

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Valdosta Daily Times e-Edition, or our print edition

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Johnson family files second suit against school system

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson's parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bears spotted on Baytree Road

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 29, 2014

  • photo.JPG Dump truck suspects apprehended

    LCSO has apprehended both of the suspects believed to be connected with the theft of a dump truck in Macon on Monday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dollar Tree-Family Do_Rich copy.jpg Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar

    The fight for penny pinchers is intensifying.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Rich copy.jpg Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

    Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.
    The failure to reach even a brief humanitarian lull in the fighting illustrated the difficulties in securing a more permanent truce as the sides remain far apart on their terms.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ga. woman sentenced in child abuse case

    The mother of a 1-year-old boy who was hospitalized with a fractured skull in 2012 has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

    July 29, 2014

  • AP81072904918 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • United Way presents fundraising prom

    Save the date — and make sure to find one — for The Prom, a retro-celebration to benefit the Greater Valdosta United Way.

    July 29, 2014

  • Times hosts blood drive

    The Valdosta Daily Times will participate in a blood drive, 12:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, with the American Red Cross Bloodmobile visiting The Times’ 201 N. Troup St. parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Free health fair planned for Quitman on Aug. 9

    A free health fair hosted by the 100 Black Men of Brooks-Grady-and-Thomas Counties, Inc. and sponsored by Archbold Hospital will take place Aug. 9  from 8 a.m.-noon. The second annual 100 B-G-T Health Fair will be located at the Courtland Avenue Church of Christ in Quitman. All Valdosta-Lowndes County residents are welcome to attend.

    July 29, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results