Broadsides Online: 51

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Broadsides

This component of the Darlington Collection numbers less than one hundred items, ranging from the 1700s to the late 1800s. It includes items of significant historical value, such as the pieces described below, to advertisements from theaters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

There is, for example, a proclamation by President George Washington on January 1, 1795, setting aside February 19, 1795, as a “Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer.” Less than four years later, President Washington would be dead, and the collection includes a rare item documenting the memorial service. A broadside dated December 29, 1799, announces “REGULATIONS, relative to the PROCESSION for rendering Funeral honors to the Deceased General WASHINGTON, as agreed to by the Committee of Arrangements” through New York. It describes the route the procession will take, requests that citizens who live along the route clean their part of the street, and even includes information on the ceremony that will be held at St. Paul’s Church.

Another important presidential document includes a broadside conveying Abraham Lincoln’s heartfelt farewell address to his friends and neighbors in Springfield, Illinois, February 12, 1861, after the election but before his departure for Washington, D.C. In part, it reads: “A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington….I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance without which I cannot succeed….I bid you an affectionate farewell.”