Lincoln Bible

The Lincoln Bible

The Lincoln Bible is the Bible used by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln when he took his presidential oath of office on March 4 1861. It has only been used to swear in two American Presidents: Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama.

The Lincoln Bible has 1820 pages and measures about 15 cm long, 10 cm wide and is about 4.5 cm thick. It is framed in crimson velvet with gilt-edged.

After the election, Lincoln traveled from Illinois to Washington to take the oath of office. Traditionally, Lincoln would have sworn the oath of office on his own family Bible, but his belongings, including Lincoln's Bible, had not yet arrived from Illinois when the ceremony was scheduled to take place. William Thomas Carroll, Registrar of the Supreme Court, gave Lincoln his own Bible for the swearing in. Carroll had also given an identical copy of that Bible to President James Buchanan for his oath of office in 1857.

The Bible was in the possession of the Lincoln family until 1928, when the wife of Robert Todd Lincoln (son of Abraham, who died in 1926) ceded it to the Library of Congress, where it still is preserved.

Lincoln's Bible was not used by subsequent Presidents. Most of the Presidents that followed preferred to be sworn in using the Washington Bible, which is a copy belonging to the Freemason's Society of New York. President Barack Obama, however, used the Lincoln Bible for his swearing in ceremony on January 20, 2009.