Thursday, July 21, 2011


There's an exhibit at the National Museum of American History, called "Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life." You can view the exhibition online by clicking the above link. I was struck by all the everyday artifacts that were preserved, from the day of Lincoln's assassination. Normally these everyday items would have been long ago lost to obscurity had they not been associated with the events of April14, 1865.

Laura Keene, an actress starring in "Our American Cousin" that night at Ford's Theatre, ran upstairs with water to assist the president after he was shot. As she held his head in her arms, she transferred the blood spots you see on the cuff she was wearing that night. Her niece, Virginia Adler Thompson, kept her aunt's cuff for decades, then bequeathed the artifact to the National Museum of American History in 1962.
Laura Keene 1826- 1873

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