Explore the painting by Edward Dalton Marchant
This copy of the Emancipation Proclamation is one of the 26 known copies of the Leland-Boker edition. This "authorized edition" was created in June 1864 for sale at the Great Central Fair of the United States Sanitary Commission in Philadelphia as a fundraiser to help sick and wounded Union soldiers. It was the idea of two Union League members, Charles Godfrey Leland and George Boker. Each document sold for $10.
The portrait was destined to hang in Independence Hall, to remind Philadelphians to support their President during the Civil War. In a letter dated December 30, 1862, Union League member John W. Forney wrote:
My Dear Mr. President - The bearer, Mr. E.D. Marchant, the eminent Artist; has been empowered by a large body of your personal and political friends to paint your picture for the Hall of American Independence. A generous subscription is made-- and he visits you to ask your acquiescence, and to exhibit his testimonials. He will need little of your time. There is no likeness of you at Independence Hall. It should be there; and as Mr. Marchant is a most distinguished Artist, and is commended by the most powerful influences, I trust you will give him a favorable reception--
The life portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Dalton Marchant still hangs in The Union League of Philadelphia in Lincoln Hall. It stands as a constant reminder of the Union League's dedication to honoring President Abraham Lincoln and all those who preserved the Union during the dark days of the American Civil War.
The Abraham Lincoln Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia