Volume 2 Issue 57 | May 9, 2009 |


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Behind the Scene

From Bogra

The Gettysburg Address

Azibor Rahman

A copy of Abraham Lincoln's historical handwritten document known as the Gettysburg Address has been found in Bangladesh. The Department of Archaeology has collected this document which, if authentic, will be a very valuable one indeed.

The Director of this department Md Abdul Khaleque broke this news and claimed this document was hand-written by the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln delivered this address on November 19, 1861, and the document found was a “screen print copy” which has transferred hands various times before coming into the hands of the Archaeology authorities for the Chalanbeel museum showcase. Nobody knows how this copy, almost 148 years old found its way into Natore district, Gurudaspur upazila, in this little museum.

Md Abdul Khaleque said the late educationist Professor Abdul Hamid took a personal initiative to establish the Chalanbeel Museum around his home village after collecting various documents and artefacts such as handwritten Korans, rare documents and archaeological finds.

Prof Hamid's daughter Dr Gulshan Ara said her father had travelled much of the world in his working life and has tried to collect rare documents and artefacts. Dr. Gulshan Ara thinks her father collected that copy of the Gettysburg address during a trip to the United States. This is an invaluable document which was delivered by one of America's favourite presidents- Abraham Lincoln, who was born in 1809 in Kentucky.

The Director of the Archaeology Department said, nothing written by Lincoln exists elsewhere in Bangladesh. Even though it is just a “screen print”, due to a variety of reasons this is a document of tremendous interest and value.

Due to lack of proper care, the document has gotten slightly damaged- it has black patches in places. The yellow paper has deteriorated through time. The document has been fitted onto a piece of cardboard. If it is not preserved well it might get lost forever pretty soon. At least that is what the archaeological workers are afraid of. Recently there was even an attempt to steal the document under the excuse of conducting research from the Chalanbeel museum. That's why right now its location is secret.


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