LMU will host fourth “War in the Mountains” symposium

Lincoln Memorial University and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum will host the fourth “War in the Mountains” symposium April 17-18 as part of the ongoing commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  This event is free, but registration is required by April 9 due to limited seating.

The theme for this year’s symposium is “Religion, Death, Martyrdom, and the Civil War.”

  • Warren Greer, Director of of the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail: “Action and Reaction: How Enlightenment Ideals Influenced
    American Religion from the Great Awakening through the
    Civil War”
  • Dr. Michael Toomey, Associate Professor of History at Lincoln Memorial University: “Under Fire: Lincoln’s Religion and the Civil War”
  • Dr. Earl Hess, Stewart W. McClelland Chair in History, Lincoln Memorial University: “Arguing Over the Civil War Death Toll: Does it Really Matter?”
  • Dr. George Rable, Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History, University of Alabama: “God as General: Was There a Religious History of the American Civil War?”

This event also features a Q&A session, tours of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum vault, and a book signing by the speakers.  The sessions will be held in LMU’s Hamilton Math & Science Building, Room 100.

To register or for more information, call the museum at (423) 869-6235 or e-mail Carol Campbell at carol.campbell@lmunet.edu.  The first 150 registrants will receive a free gift.

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New exhibit on Lincoln and Jewish Americans

The New-York Historical Society’s newest exhibit, “Lincoln and the Jews,” is an exploration of Lincoln’s personal relationships with his Jewish contemporaries and his impact on nineteenth-century Jewish life in America.  The New York Times covered the exhibit in a recent article:

“Lincoln played an important role in turning Jews from outsiders in America to insiders,” said Jonathan D. Sarna, a historian at Brandeis University and the author, with Mr. Shapell, of the new, separately published book “Lincoln and the Jews,” which inspired the show. “It’s a subject that has really been overlooked.”

Lincoln’s lifetime coincided with a dramatic increase in America’s Jewish population, which grew from about 3,000 in 1809, the year of his birth, to roughly 150,000 in 1860. Growing up in the Midwest, he probably encountered few or no Jews in person until he became a young man. But at a time when anti-Semitism and nativism ran high, the show notes, there is no evidence of Lincoln harboring any animus toward Jews.

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Martha Hodes on ‘Mourning Lincoln’

At his blog, historian John Fea has posted a short interview with Martha Hodes about her new book Mourning Lincoln.  Hodes uses contemporary letters and diaries to examine the varied ways Americans responded to Lincoln’s assassination, and how these responses reflected different visions for the country’s future in the wake of the Civil War.

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The historical keynote of the war

Charles Francis Adams was one of many Americans who stood in front of the Capitol 150 years ago to hear Lincoln deliver his second inaugural address.  “That railsplitting lawyer is one of the wonders of the day,” Adams wrote a few days later.  “Once at Gettysburg and now again on a greater occasion he has shown a capacity for rising to the demands of the hour.”  He believed the speech would be “for all time the historical keynote of this war.”

Lincoln himself expected his speech to “wear as well as —perhaps better than—any thing I have produced,” even though it was “not immediately popular.”

Here are a few links to help you commemorate the sesquicentennial of what historian Ronald C. White has called Lincoln’s greatest speech:

Library of Congress

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Commemorating Lincoln’s second inaugural in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol will host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s second inaugural on March 4.  Stephen Lang will deliver the same speech Lincoln wrote for his 1865 swearing-in, and the event will also feature remarks from Congressman Ray LaHood, historian Edna Greene Medford, and prominent Lincoln authority Frank J. Williams.

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The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum’s newest exhibit features a glimpse at Hollywood’s Lincoln

The newest exhibit at Lincoln Memorial University’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum opened this week.  “Clouds and Darkness Surround Us”: The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln examines the tragic fate of Lincoln’s widow, and features original costumes from Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film alongside additional material from the ALLM collection.  This exhibit runs through November 20, 2015.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum is hosting a number of special events, including a screening of Spielberg’s film and presentations on the history of Lincoln in the movies.  For more information about the exhibit and upcoming events, visit the ALLM website.

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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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