A family from Stilwell believes they have found what could be an original copy of the Gettysburg Address. If it's real, it's a very rare and valuable discovery. The document is certainly old, but there's no way to tell yet if it's in the original handwriting of Abraham Lincoln. On Thursday, it was compared to some other Lincoln artifacts with surprising results.
Nadine Jarvis came to Gilcrease museum find out whether the copy they have is an original handwritten copy. And right away the word spread through the staff.
The Jarvis' found the document in an old trunk they bought at an estate sale in Caddo, Oklahoma.
Museum curator Randy Ramer carefully examined the brittle paper, compared it to an authentic copy of the speech and to his surprise found nothing that would indicate it was not genuine.
"I would be optimistic about its authenticity for sure," said Ramer.
Ramer says the poor condition of the paper would be normal for something from the 1860's that had not been well preserved. That's why their original Lincoln documents look almost new. What's certain is that handwritten copies of the speech do exist.
"Well the president did give those out as gifts,â€ Ramer said. â€œThis is probably something like that. We just don't know who he would have given it to."
The Jarvis' have high hopes that it's genuine and that someone wants to pay a lot for it. They've now taken steps to have it properly stored, in a secure location, while they wait for expert analysis of what could be an incredible find.
The Jarvis' plan to have some experts in Dallas examine the document and hope to sell it through them. We'll follow up to see how that turns out.
Watch the video: Family Finds What Could Be An Original Copy Of Gettysburg Address