The Lincoln Bible


On March 4, 1861, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administered the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln using a Bible provided by William Thomas Carroll, clerk of the Supreme Court, because Lincoln’s family Bible was packed with other belongings that still were en route to Washington from Springfield, Illinois. In the back of the velvet-covered Bible, along with the seal of the Supreme Court, the volume is annotated: "I, William Thos. 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 said Court, administered to His Excellency, Abraham Lincoln, the oath of office as President of the United States." The 1,280-page Bible was published in 1853 by the Oxford University Press. In the center of the front cover is a shield, made of gold wash over white metal, with the words "Holy Bible" engraved into it. On January 20, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama also took the oath of office on this Bible. On January 21, 2013, Obama again used the Lincoln Bible, along with the Bible belonging to the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. The two Bibles were stacked one on top of the other as the president took the oath of office for the second time.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Oxford University Press, Oxford, England


Title in Original Language

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments

Type of Item

Physical Description

1280 pages ; 15 centimeters

Last updated: June 18, 2014