Edna Greene Medford to receive Lincoln Diploma of Honor

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will confer the degrees of 335 graduates on Saturday, December 13, 2014, during its annual Winter Commencement Exercises. Lincoln scholar and Howard University Professor Edna Greene Medford will deliver the commencement address during the ceremony. The ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at Tex Turner Arena.

A total of 41 associate’s degrees, 133 bachelor’s degrees, 148 master’s, 10 educational doctorate and three doctorates of juris prudence degrees are expected to be awarded. Nearly 375 graduates will participate in the ceremony, including several graduates whose degrees have already been conferred. LMU will present Medford with its highest honor, the Lincoln Diploma of Honor, during the ceremony.

Medford is professor and chairperson of the Department of History at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. She specializes in 19th century United States history and teaches courses in the Jacksonian Era, slavery and Civil War and Reconstruction. She lectures widely to community groups and at universities around the country and abroad. Medford is a frequent contributor to C-SPAN historical programs, and has been featured on several programs hosted by the History Channel and other networks and National Public Radio.

Medford’s publications include co-authorship of The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views and Historical Perspectives of the African Burial Ground Project; New York Blacks and the Diaspora, (which she edited). She has authored more than two dozen book chapters and journal articles on nineteenth century African Americans, Abraham Lincoln and race in America. She has just completed the monograph Lincoln and Emancipation, which is scheduled for publication in May 2015. Medford is a member of several advisory boards dedicated to the study of and promotion of Civil War history, including the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, the Ulysses S. Grant Papers, the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Abraham Lincoln Institute, the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, President Lincoln’s Cottage Scholars Advisory Group and the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

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Holzer on Lincoln and the press

Harold Holzer’s latest book is Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion, which David Reynolds just reviewed for The New York Times.  Here’s a sample of Reynolds’s review:

Abraham Lincoln has been portrayed in many roles — as emancipator, politician, military leader, orator, self-made man and others — but his canny manipulation of the popular press has received little attention. Harold Holzer, a prominent authority on America’s 16th president, opens many vistas on this fascinating topic in his new book, “Lincoln and the Power of the Press,” a monumental, richly detailed portrait of the world of 19th-­century journalism and Lincoln’s relation to it. Holzer demonstrates that even as Lincoln juggled many war-related demands, he kept a close eye on American newspapers and tried to influence them however he could.

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Dr. Vernon Burton to deliver McMurtry Lecture on Oct. 24

The Abraham Lincoln Institute for the Study of Leadership and Public Policy and The Duncan School of Law are pleased to present the R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture. The 2014 McMurtry Lecture is scheduled for Friday October 24, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum’s Arnold Auditorium. The subject of this year’s lecture is “The Emancipation Proclamation to the March on Washington” by Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, a prolific author and expert on the South and race relations.

Burton is Creativity Professor of Humanities, Professor of History, Sociology, and Computer Science at Clemson University, and the Director of the Clemson CyberInstitute.  His books include The Age of Lincoln (2007) and In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina (1985).

Burton obtained his Ph.D. from Princeton University.  He was the founding Director of the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (I-CHASS) at the University of Illinois, where he is emeritus University Distinguished Teacher/Scholar, University Scholar, and Professor of History, African American Studies, and Sociology.  He is a Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), where he was Associate Director for Humanities and Social Sciences.  He is also vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Congressional National Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

His honors and recognitions include: selection as the 1999 U.S. Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year, the 2004 American Historical Association’s Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Prize, the 2006 Campus Award for Excellence in Public Engagement from the University of Illinois, appointment as an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, and election to honorary life membership in BrANCH (British American Nineteenth-Century Historians) and the Society of American Historians.  He has served as president of the Southern Historical Association and of the Agricultural History Society, and was one of ten historians selected to contribute to the Presidential Inaugural Portfolio by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies for 2013.

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Ex-slaves and Lincoln’s memory

John McKee Barr, author of Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present, takes an interesting look at ex-slaves’ memories of the Great Emancipator at his blog.  Their notions of Lincoln were not uniformly positive; as Barr states, “many African Americans still praised Lincoln, but some did not, for very specific – and instructive – reasons.”

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Lincoln receiving vault undergoing restoration

Oak Ridge Cemetery is repairing the receiving vault that housed the remains of Abraham Lincoln and his son Willie before their relocation to the Lincoln Tomb.  The restoration should be completed in time for the 150th anniversary commemoration of Lincoln’s burial, which will also include

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A Lincoln bargain

A California store owner recently bought a supposed Lincoln document for $50 from a man who walked in off the street.  It turns out the document is authentic, and worth anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000.

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Two new Lincoln documents discovered

Researchers working on the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project have found two new Lincoln letters at the University of Alabama:

The first is a letter to Lincoln’s former secretary of war, Simon Cameron, concerning treason cases against prominent Baltimore officials in 1863. The second concerns the use of several thousand Enfield muskets captured from British ships trying to run blockades into the Confederacy in 1862.

“It is amazing that in the 21st century, new Lincoln materials are still being found,” Professor Charles Summersell of the University of Illinois Springfield said in a statement. “Once again, the relentlessly diligent researchers for the Invaluable Papers of Abraham Lincoln have discovered previously unknown material on our sixteenth president.”

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