On August 24, 2019, we traveled to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania to the Star Barn for a Civil War re-enactment and to take a ride on the Lincoln Funeral Train. We knew there would be vendors and part of the J. Howard Wert collection was going to be there as well. We didn't know that we would actually be able to see the lectern that was used by Abraham Lincoln when he delivered the Gettysburg Address. What an amazing surprise, to be that close to a piece of American history, was a truly humbling experience.
The lectern is part of the J. Howard Wert Gettysburg Collection. Wert, who served as a special scout and guide during the battle and after the war, wrote about Gettysburg’s history in many books and articles. His collection, which remains privately owned, is the oldest collection from the battle.
After doing some research for this blog post, we found out that if this is the "actual" lectern used during the Gettysburg address, which we believe that it is since there were more items from the Wert collection available for viewing, it was also used in September of 2015 by Pope Francis when he spoke at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Further articles have stated that it is extremely rare to see this piece of history on display since it does belong to a private collector; however, it does make it's appearances from time to time. If you ever get the opportunity to go and see this, it is highly recommended.