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Lincoln, Habeas Corpus and the Suspension of Civil Liberties During the Civil War: Papers of Abraham Lincoln

This guide is designed to complement “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition held at the Pace Law Library between March 5 - April 11, 2012.

The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

A Collaborative Project of Library of Congress Manuscript Division and Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College


The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress "consists of approximately 20,000 documents. The collection is organized into three "General Correspondence" series which include incoming and outgoing correspondence and enclosures, drafts of speeches, and notes and printed material. Most of the 20,000 items are from the 1850s through Lincoln's presidential years, 1860-65. Treasures include Lincoln's draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his March 4, 1865, draft of his second Inaugural Address, and his August 23, 1864, memorandum expressing his expectation of being defeated for re-election in the upcoming presidential contest. The Lincoln Papers are characterized by a large number of correspondents, including friends and associates from Lincoln's Springfield days, well-known political figures and reformers, and local people and organizations writing to their president. In its online presentation, the Abraham Lincoln Papers comprises approximately 61,000 images and 10,000 transcriptions. This project is being supported by a generous gift from Donald G. Jones, Terri L. Jones, and the Jones Family Foundation."

The Corning Letter

Example of Available Materials:

Abraham Lincoln to Erastus Corning and Others, [June] 1863 (Draft of reply to resolutions concerning military arrests and suspension of habeas corpus) - View the Letter - Transcription.  Available from: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.