Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

Traveling 2009 – 2013

Click Here for Exhibition Tour Schedule.


June 10 – November 4, 2005

In the Feature Exhibition Gallery

April 12 – June 19, 2011

In Posterity Hall

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War, the National Constitution Center’s first originally produced feature exhibition, shows how President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership and constitutional vision steered the nation through its most turbulent years and into a future that forever changed America. The exhibition is organized into six main exhibit areas: “Secession Winter,” “Oath of Office,” “Crisis of Secession,” “Crisis of Slavery,” “Crisis of Civil Liberties,” and “Lincoln’s Legacy: The Gettysburg Address in His Time and Ours.”

Through the exhibition’s media and interactive elements, visitors can stand alongside Lincoln as he is sworn in as president, view Civil War military conflicts and Lincoln portraits through a replicated 1860s box camera, play a genuine 1862 board game called “The Secession Game,” use clues to solve an electronic jigsaw puzzle, experience a replicated jail cell for citizens arrested for dissent or disloyalty, and more!

Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads, an interactive, educational game based on the exhibition, invites middle school and high school students to learn about Lincoln’s leadership by exploring the political choices he made.


This exhibition is sponsored by Lincoln Financial Group.

The traveling panel show of Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War was developed by the National Constitution Center, in collaboration with the American Library Association, for public libraries throughout the country. The exhibition, which is traveling to 25 libraries through 2013, commemorates the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial by examining the historical context in which Lincoln served as president.

The traveling exhibition is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life.

Exhibition Overview

Exhibition Tour Schedule

Images from the Exhibition

Visit Eastern Michigan University’s Flickr page for photos of the exhibition’s opening.


The exhibition explores the Civil War as a constitutional crisis. “Divided” higlights the issue of seccession.


The “Bound” section explores the constitutional dilemma Lincoln overcame to abolish slavery.


The “Dissent” section deals with the issue of civil liberties in wartime, drawing connections to the post 9/11 world in which we live.

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