The Madeleine Brand Show for January 26, 2012

Rare Abraham Lincoln telegraphs now in Pasadena

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. The Huntington Library in Pasadena, Calif., recently purchased telegraph conversations between LIncoln and officers of the Union Army.

A rare collection of Civil War messages between Abraham Lincoln and his generals has just been bought by The Huntington Library.

They are 150-year-old, hand-written documents made by telegraph operators who transcribed the messages in and out of Morse code. Until two years ago, historians didn't know they existed.

Daniel Lewis, chief curator of the manuscripts department at The Huntington Library, joins the show to explain.


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