David Rubenstein has turned his interest in historical documents into a philanthropic effort.
Late last month, Mr. Rubenstein — co-founder and managing director of Washington-based alternative investment firm The Carlyle Group — paid $2.1 million of his own money for an original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln signed 48 copies of the proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, freeing the slaves in the states that had seceded from the Union.
This is not the first historic document, or even the first original copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, purchased by Mr. Rubenstein. His aim in buying the documents is to have them displayed for the public, said Christopher Ullman, Carlyle Group spokesman. Mr. Rubenstein gave the first copy of the Emancipation Proclamation he bought to President Barack Obama to be displayed in the Oval Office. Mr. Rubenstein has not yet decided the appropriate home for the new acquisition.
“David has a keen interest in historical documents and giving back to the country,” Mr. Ullman said.
Other acquisitions by Mr. Rubenstein include the Magna Carta, which is now on loan in a permanent exhibit at the National Archives; the Declaration of Independence, displayed at the State Department; the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery also signed by Mr. Lincoln, which recently was on loan to the New York Historical Society; and the first map of the U.S. after the American Revolutionary War, which is on display at the Library of Congress.