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Grant number: GA-258557-17

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National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, PA 19106-1514)
Jeffrey Rosen (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

The Constitution, the Civil War, and the Promise of American Equality

Since the late 1800s, the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia (CWMP) has been the repository of a rich and significant collection of Civil War materials donated in the decades following the war, including the flag Lincoln raised above Independence Hall on his way to his first inaugural. Since 2010, this collection has been housed by the Gettysburg Foundation, awaiting an exhibition venue in Philadelphia. In partnership with the CWMO and the Gettysburg Foundation, the National Constitution Center will create “The Promise of American Equality,” the first permanent gallery in the US devoted to the constitutional legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

To complete the project, the Center will: Select Civil War artifacts from the CWMP collection for rotating display, supplemented with items from other collections. Obtain and display rare copies of the three Reconstruction Amendments to the U. S. Constitution. Group artifacts thematically and/or chronologically, and design artifact-based, interactive exhibition to engage visitors of all ages. Provide a physical, museum counterpart to our ongoing Second Founding initiative, a commemoration of the 150th anniversaries of the Reconstruction Amendments, which has been generously supported by the NEH.

The Civil War and Reconstruction Gallery will open to the public in 2019, and will be a permanent addition to the National Constitution Center. A Chairman’s Grant of $30,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities would help support the planning phase for development of the Gallery.  

Project fields:

Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Public Programs)

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$30,000 (approved)
$30,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2017 – 12/31/2017