Fairfield Museum and History Center will continue its promotion of a ticket stub discount from the new movie, “Lincoln” for reduced admission to its exhibition, Promise of Freedom: The Emancipation Proclamation through the engagement of the film. Visitors, who present a ticket stub, will receive $2 off of an adult admission to the exhibition, which runs through February 24th, 2013. The Museum is located on 370 Beach Road in Fairfield and is open Mon–Fri: 10am – 4pm and Sat–Sunday: 12 noon – 4pm or visit www.fairfieldhistory.org. For area information visit www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

The Fairfield Museum planned this exhibit as the ideal educational component for Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking movie, “Lincoln”, which focuses on the war-weary president’s strategic journey from what he knew to be the “Band-Aid” fix of the Emancipation Proclamation January 1st, 1863 (150 years ago) to the final passage of the 13th amendment, which promised to abolish slavery.

The actual 13th amendment still left room for slavery to be applied as punishment for anyone who commits a crime. Nevertheless, the Proclamation and the Amendment, which are on display at the Fairfield Museum through February 24th, 2013, marked the journey towards ending slavery in America.

Promise of Freedom includes not only a rare signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation but also an even more rare-signed copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, signed by Lincoln and by almost all the members of the House and Senate who voted for it. Both documents are on loan to the museum from a private collection. The Thirteenth Amendment, which was not fully ratified by the states until well after Lincoln’s assassination, provided a stronger foundation for the elimination of slavery than did Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which rested on his wartime authority as commander-in-chief.

Today, there are very few copies of the 13th amendment bearing Lincoln’s signature, like the rare one the Fairfield Museum has in the exhibit. The reason for this is that after Lincoln signed a several souvenir copies, the Senate passed a resolution stating that signing souvenirs was unseemly, so he stopped. Ironically, at the beginning of the Civil War, there was a completely different 13th amendment proposed, which would have protected slavery. Lincoln did not always support this amendment and had to be convinced by abolitionists and women’s rights activists that an amendment abolishing slavery was important.


The Fairfield Museum creates experiences that make history personal, engaging and meaningful and in so doing strengthen people’s connection to the world around them. The Museum’s collection and archive is one of the most important humanities resources in southwestern Connecticut and a valuable resource for teaching history and related disciplines. Museum exhibitions attract more than 18,000 visitors annually from New York to New Haven, and our educational programs annually serve more than 5,000 students from southwestern Connecticut. We are committed to providing educational experiences, particularly to lower income constituencies that allow all students the opportunity to participate.

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