Curated Manuscripts (13)
- Last Added
- Historic Date
The manuscripts gathered here follow the course of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, from being ratified by President Franklin Pierce to Pierce defending it after his presidency. We also look back to Pierce’s presidential predecessor, Millard Fillmore, ruminating over an impending race war after reading Harriet Beecher-Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Also present in this collection is the reaction of Abraham Lincoln to the bill when he was still an Illinois circuit attorney.
From deep within the stress and tension of the violent Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln sought an unusual military appointment: “I believe we have not yet appointed a Hebrew,” Lincoln wrote, and requested that the son of a well-known Orthodox rabbi from New York receive a position. In an era rife with both casual and state-sanctioned anti-Semitism, Lincoln’s notice and support of Jewish citizens was bold and noteworthy.
The misfortune of losing a child while serving in the country’s highest office is one shared by a surprising number of U.S. Presidents.
Manuscripts exploring the mounting dangers before the Holocaust, the devastation it wrought, and the way the Jewish people both resisted in the face of the Holocaust, and re-established their homeland in the wake of it.