The Bernard H. Hall Abraham Lincoln Collection


Lincoln's Connection with Leavenworth

Abraham Lincoln delivered his first presidential campaign speech in Leavenworth, Kansas in December 1859 at the urging of close friend Mark Delahay, a Leavenworth attorney. After the speech, Lincoln stayed about a week, and later said, “If I were to ever travel west again, I think I would go to Leavenworth.”


The Lincoln Collection


The Bernard H. Hall Abraham Lincoln Collection contains more than 10,000 items and memorabilia, some rare and original such as:

  • One of the 14 known original copies of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution – the document that made slavery illegal.

  • A broad assortment of books and pamphlets on Lincoln's life and work. Included is a complete 85-volume set of “Following Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865,” by Bernhardt Wall, books containing original engravings of all the places Lincoln had lived or traveled.

  • One of two known letters written by Mrs. Lincoln and co-signed by Lincoln.

  • One of Lincoln's last messages to his wife – a telegram from Grant's headquarters in City Point, sharing with her Gen. Grant's success and the prospect of the imminent fall of Petersburg which meant the end of the Civil War and bloodshed.

  • A lock of hair purportedly taken from Lincoln's head at the time of his death.

About the Collector

Bernard H. Hall, M.D., F.A.C.P., donated USM's Lincoln Collection in 1969. Dr. Hall was former director of psychiatry at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka , Kan. and at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City where he was also director of community health services. He was a lecturer, author, and a collector of Lincolniana for 40 years. Mindful of Lincoln 's visit to Leavenworth in 1859, Dr. Hall wished his collection to be in Leavenworth and hoped that it would become “a shrine to a great man” and “a memorial to the incomparable Abraham Lincoln.” Dr. Hall died in 1987.


This photo was taken at the time of the official presentation of Dr. Hall's collection to Sister Mary Mark Orr, who served as head librarian at Saint Mary for many years.

To make an appointment to tour any of the University of Saint Mary collections, please call De Paul Library at 913-758-6306.

 

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