The Lincoln Bible



“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”



Although taking office does not require the new President of the United States to be sworn in using a Bible,  Barack Obama has chosen to use the Lincoln Inaugural Bible, used by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. 


The burgundy velvet covered Lincoln Inaugural Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1851, is part of a collection of the rare book collection of the Library of Congress. 


 At the back of the bible can be seen the blue seal of the Supreme Court, with a note from  William Thomas Carroll, the clerk of the court, writing…

 ‘I, William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the said court do hereby certify that the preceding copy of the Holy Bible is that upon which the Honble. R. B. Taney, Chief Justice of the said Court, administered to His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, the oath of office as President of the United States … “

You can see the Lincoln Inaugural Bible at the  ‘National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition’ , on 12 Febuary 2009, at the Library of Congress, and the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress are freely available online to search.

If you would like to know more about the history of US Presidential inagurations click here  


To find out more about current exhibitons at the Library of Congress, click here


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