Darwin & Lincoln: Two 19th-Century Giants

An exhibit honoring the 200th anniversary of their births in 1809 is on display in the Mortimer Rare Book Room through May 8, 2009.

Julia Margaret Cameron portrait of Darwin:
Noted Victorian photographer Cameron took this photograph of Charles Darwin in 1868. It appears in Victorian Photographs of Famous Men and Fair Women, published in 1926. Cameron was the great-aunt of writer Virginia Woolf, who wrote an introduction to the book of portraits.


Most Americans know that Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, but fewer are aware that he shared his birthday, and year of birth, with Charles Darwin. This year marks the 200th anniversary of their births in 1809. To herald this occasion, the Mortimer Rare Book Room has on display some items of interest by and about these two notable figures of the nineteenth century.

Date Exhibit
Jan. 27 - May 8 Darwin & Lincoln: Two 19th-Century Giants
Mortimer Rare Book Room

The exhibition includes, in part, a handwritten note from 1863 by Lincoln; a letter written by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase about Civil War General George McClellan; and an eyewitness account of Lincoln’s assassination written on April 15, 1865. Also on display is a letter about barnacles, written by Darwin in 1850; a first edition of his most famous work, On the Origin of Species; and Darwin’s printed journals from his 1831-1836 voyage aboard H.M.S. Beagle, which included his travels to the Galapagos Islands.


Mortimer Rare Book Room,
Neilson Library
(413) 585-2906