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Key Lincoln Document Displayed in Plattsburgh

The only surviving draft of President Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation is being exhibited at museums across New York State.   North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the SUNY Plattsburgh Art Museum this morning, where the historic document will be shown for one day.

Crowds of people were entering the Myers Fine Arts Building’s Burke Gallery to view the rare handwritten  document early this morning.  Long held in the vaults of the New York State Library, this is part of a special tour to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. New York State Regent James Dawson.

New York State Education Department Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education Jeffrey Cannell.

Regent James Dawson explains how the New York State Museum and Library came to own this document.

Plattsburgh State Art Museum Director Ceil Esposito.

The exhibition is called “The First Step to Freedom”. SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling, an historian, notes this pivotal document contains some differences from the final proclamation.

The museum has coordinated with local schools, and three classes of fifth graders were among the first to arrive.  Standing in line ahead of them was Scott Coleman of Morrisonville and his son Connor.

President Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed at the Burke Gallery at Plattsburgh State until 9 pm tonight.  It then moves on to Rochester, followed by Binghampton, Utica and Albany.  It has already been shown in Syracuse and on Long Island.