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February 15, 2017
Jesse Melgar or Sam Mahood
(916) 653-6575


State Archives Launches Online Exhibit that Explores California in the Age of Lincoln

The exhibit is part of Google Arts & Culture Presidents Day collection


SACRAMENTO – The California State Archives is launching its latest online exhibit titled “A Visit to the Pacific Shore: California in the Age of Lincoln.  It features the Golden State during the age of President Abraham Lincoln. The exhibit is just one element of Google Arts & Culture’s Presidents Day collection, ( celebrating the history of the United States presidency from George Washington to the present.  

Click here to visit “A visit to the Pacific Shore: California in the Age of Lincoln” 

“While Abraham Lincoln was never able to visit the Golden State, the impact of his presidency was felt from Washington D.C. to the pacific shore,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said. “Most Californians supported the Union.  Over 16,000 pro union California residents volunteered to serve in the military from 1861 to 1865, most of these Californian’s were put to work establishing forts and guarding mail routes across vast stretches of territory, while others fought in major battles on the east coast.” 

Lincoln forever changed the west when he signed the Pacific Railway Act in 1862, authorizing the construction of the transcontinental railroad. Lincoln was apparently fascinated by accounts of California’s wealth of natural splendor.  An 1865 newspaper article quotes him as declaring, “California… about those Arcadian valleys of yours, those wonderful falls and fabulous tress, we can never hear enough”. While California was just getting started as a state, the age of Lincoln was truly a transformative time. 

The exhibit covers the social and economic changes shaping California in the mid-1800’s, while weaving in Lincoln’s comments and his executive actions that directly impacted the Golden state.  Some highlights from this online exhibit include: 

  • An original letter penned by President Abraham Lincoln to California Governor Frederick Low
  • Rare photos and maps of mid-19th Century California
  • Historical documents—including the original California Constitution in English and Spanish 

This is the State Archives’ seventh online exhibit to be hosted by Google Arts & Culture.  Secretary Padilla has made digitizing the treasurers of the State Archives a priority. 

About Google Arts & Culture

Google Arts & Culture is a new, immersive way to experience art, history, culture and world wonders from over a thousand organizations worldwide. Google Arts & Culture has been created by the Google Cultural Institute and it is available for free for everyone on the web, on iOS and Android. Read more here


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