Like no other American, Abraham Lincoln's life is entwined with the history and culture of the nation. His rise from poverty to the presidency has inspired others to believe in the promise of opportunity; his success in preserving the nation is one of our greatest triumphs; his death is our American tragedy.
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 2009, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History published its unparalleled Lincoln collection. It contains many historical treasures, including: Lincoln's top hat, his gold pocket watch from his days as a Springfield lawyer, the inkstand he used to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, his patent model for lifting boats, one of Mary Lincoln's White House gowns and jewelry, and prison hoods and shackles worn by the Lincoln conspirators. Showcasing more than 125 objects and photographs, Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life tells a new and intimate story of the life and legacy of this remarkable American icon.