A copy of the U.S. Constitution belonging to former president George Washington will be on display starting Saturday, June 29 at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in downtown Little Rock.
The document, a bound book taken from a private collection, is traveling nationwide and will be shown at all thirteen presidential libraries. It was previously displayed at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta and will continue to the recently completed George W. Bush Presidential Library located on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
During the exhibit the book will be open to Article 2, which concerns presidential duties as well as limits on authority. These pages are filled with markings and annotations that may provide insight into thoughts from the historical figure, said Clinton Library Education Specialist Kathleen Pate.
"I like to imagine that this is George Washington, our first president, referring back to the Constitution to think about what it is that he is required to do and what his responsibilities are as president," Pate said. "He wants to make sure that he's following the letter of the law, that he's following the Constitution."
Pate also said the library borrowed other items for insertion into the exhibit, including a Gilbert Stuart portrait of Washington from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Also on loan are documents from the National Archives, including correspondence between Washington and Chief Justice John Jay.
The display will run through July 12.
A reception featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author Joseph Ellis ("His Excellency: George Washington") will be held tonight in the library's Great Hall at 6:30 p.m.