2015 Press Releases

National Archives Hosts Program on Lincoln and the Jews May 7
Press Release · Monday, April 27, 2015

Washington, DC

Jonathan Sarna and Steven Roberts to discuss important relationship

Washington, DC…On Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., the National Archives welcomes Dr. Jonathan D. Sarna to discuss his new book, Lincoln and the Jews: A History. Joining Dr. Sarna will be journalist and author Steven V. Roberts. The event, part of the National Archives’ commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of President Lincoln’s death, will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum and on YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution at 9th Street NW. A book signing will follow the program. Presented in partnership with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.

Lincoln and the Jews: A History tells the full story of Lincoln’s extraordinary relationship with Jews for the first time. Lincoln’s lifetime coincided with the emergence of Jews on the national scene in the United States. He befriended Jews, promoted Jewish equality, appointed numerous Jews to public office, and had Jewish advisors and supporters. The book reveals how Lincoln's remarkable relationship with American Jews impacted both his path to the presidency and his policy decisions as president.

Related Featured Display

A Doctor in the House – Dr. Charles Leale’s report on the death of President Lincoln
East Rotunda Gallery, through April 29, 2015
There was a doctor in the house the night President Lincoln was assassinated—Dr. Charles A. Leale, a recently employed surgeon at the U.S. Army General Hospital. Six weeks out of medical school, the 23-year-old doctor went to Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, hoping to catch a glimpse of President Lincoln. In the course of the evening, he found himself attempting to remove a bullet from the President’s skull. Leale was the first medical professional to arrive at the wounded President’s side. His report of the events of that evening takes us to the scene of a crime that irreversibly altered the future of the United States. Leale’s eyewitness report takes us to the scene of a crime that irreversibly altered the future of the United States.

I immediately ran to the Presidents box and as soon as the door was opened was admitted and introduced to Mrs. Lincoln when she exclaimed several times, “O Doctor, do what you can for him, do what you can!”

This document, signed by Dr. Leale, is believed to be a copy of the report he wrote immediately afterward. National Archives, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office. The National Archives Museum’s “Featured Documents” exhibit is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation.

Related online resources:

  • The National Archives holds the investigation and trial papers relating to the assassination. Read the eyewitness account by Robert King Stone, the Lincoln family physician, and the only one of the 14 doctors who treated Lincoln that night who presented testimony on the President’s condition.
  • See “The Night of Lincoln's Assassination,” Henry Rollins’ 10 Things You Don’t Know About interview with National Archives Chief of Reference Trevor Plante.
  • See the DC Police blotter listing Police blotter listing Lincoln’s assassination.
  • Discover John Russell Pope’s other Lincoln Memorial designs.

Related Teaching with Documents online educational resources:

Teaching with Documents uses National Archives primary sources to explore Civil War themes including the following topics:

Related exhibition:

The Public Vaults exhibition at the National Archives Museum features a Lincoln telegram, an image of Lincoln and his general after Antietam, a facsimile of all five pages of the Emancipation Proclamation, and an interactive exhibit about the Lincoln assassination and the Booth conspiracy.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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