"Facsimile of the Emancipation Proclamation," c. 1871

The Lost Original

This print is a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s original draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln sent the original document to organizers of the 1863 Chicago Sanitary Fair to raise funds for building a home for wounded soldiers. The Chicago Historical Society acquired the document, but it was destroyed when the building burned during the Great Fire of 1871. Later copies such as this one were made from a manuscript copy of the original document.