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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Lincoln’s handwriting confirmed in nineteenth-century book on racism

Experts have confirmed that handwriting in an Illinois library’s copy of Types of Mankind is that of the Great Emancipator.  The book is a lengthy justification of racism based on the notion that different races constitute separate species.

Lincoln made a notation inside the book with the name and place of residence of its owner, a fellow attorney named Clifton Moore, from whom he probably borrowed it to study his opposition’s arguments in preparation for a legal case or political debate.

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Digging up a Lincoln courthouse

An excavation in Bloomington, IL has uncovered traces of a courthouse where Lincoln practiced.  Archaeologists are digging at the site before construction begins on a project for the McLean County Museum of History.

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A documentary on the Lincoln Tomb is in the works

Producer Chris Ryder is working with the Lincoln Monument Association to film a documentary on Lincoln’s tomb to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the president’s death.

You can help fund the project by donating through Indiegogo; a contribution of $25 will get you a copy of the finished film.

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Niebuhr on Lincoln and Whipple in the L.A. Times

Gustav Niebuhr, author of the new book on Bishop Henry Whipple’s efforts to lobby Lincoln for better treatment of the Dakota Indians which we featured in the last post, has a piece in The Los Angeles Times about Whipple’s influence on Lincoln and the fate of the Indians condemned to hang after the 1862 uprising:

The Founding Fathers had good reasons for explicitly barring government from inserting itself into matters of religion. But nothing in the Constitution forbids a president from consulting with clerics, and meetings between presidents and religious figures have, on occasion, helped shape history.

One such time came when an Episcopal Church bishop traveled to Washington from Minnesota to try to persuade Abraham Lincoln to make wholesale changes in the corrupt and brutal ways the federal government treated Native Americans. The entreaty may well have saved hundreds of Dakota Indians from execution — and the nation from a huge injustice.

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