Bible underscores Lincoln’s belief he was to end slavery

800 (1)Source: Associated Press

By JOHN O’CONNOR

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Bible given to Abraham Lincoln in the final months of the Civil War ties together the 16th president’s budding views on spirituality and his belief that God was calling him to end slavery as well as his widow’s labors to solidify his religious standing, historians say.

The King James Bible was eventually given by Mary Lincoln to Noyes W. Miner, a beloved Springfield neighbor and a Baptist minister whose descendants donated it to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which unveiled it to the public on Thursday.

The 18-pound (8-kilogram) volume has a cover of hand-tooled leather and gilt lettering, and is inscribed to the president from “the Ladies of the Citizens Volunteer Hospital of Philadelphia.” Historians believe Lincoln received it on June 16, 1864, the day he visited the city for a fundraiser for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, a private agency that raised money and recruited volunteers to care for the Civil War’s sick and wounded. Lincoln had donated dozens of autographed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation to the cause.

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