We are now upon February, the month during which histories of Black individuals and collectives emerge by the tenfold throughout the country. Of the many historical events significant not only to Black Americans, but all residents, the 13th amendment played a crucial role in the shaping of our country. Giving visitors the opportunity to view this transformative document up close in person, the New-York Historical Museum & Society has placed on display one of the original thirteen manuscripts signed by President Abraham Lincoln himself. Arguably the earliest race-related change enacted by a US President, the 13th amendment altered the Constitution by abolishing slavery.
Having acquired the piece, David Rubenstein, director of the Carlye Group, believes that by viewing the manuscript, visitors will be given the rare opportunity to view a genuine piece of history. “Along with the Bill of Rights, I believe the Thirteenth Amendment is the most important addition to the Constitution,” says Rubenstein. “I hope as many people as possible will have a chance to see this Amendment in person.”
The manuscript was revealed on Monday by Rubenstein along with the help of an eager group of eighth-grade students. On display now through April 1, the 13th amendment manuscript is the newest addition to an number of exhibitions at the museum, including the large scale Civil Rights-based exhibition Freedom Now: Photography by Planton. Will you be visiting this and other museums in honor of Black History Month? Or do you forgo the monthly holiday and opt for a yearly remembrance instead?