Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum

A link to the assassination

To mark the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, here’s Steven Wilson of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum with one of the most special artifacts in the LMU collection.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under LMU Lincoln News

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War, LMU Lincoln News

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.

1 Comment

Filed under LMU Lincoln News

2014 Lincoln Symposium at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will host Lincoln scholars from around the country for the 2014 Lincoln Symposium April 4-5, 2014, in Harrogate, Tenn.

Entitled “Lincoln and the War,” the symposium will address issues facing Lincoln during his administration as a war president. Featured speakers include Warren Greer, director of Kentucky’s Lincoln Heritage Trail Alliance, Dr. Anne Marshall, professor of history at Mississippi State University; Dr. Brian McKnight, professor of history at University of Virginia at Wise; Dr. Daniel Stowell, director and editor of The Abraham Lincoln Papers; and Frank J. Williams, retired chief justice of Rhode Island Supreme Court.

The program will open with a banquet featuring McKnight as the keynote speaker on Friday evening. Saturday will open with a continental breakfast followed by the four remaining speakers and a panel discussion to close the symposium. Each speaker will discuss a different aspect of the Civil War and how Lincoln managed it.

Registration for the symposium is open. The cost to attend the entire program is $60, or $25 for the Friday banquet and $35 for the full-day session on Saturday. For more information or to register, contact Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell at 423.869.6439.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.

Leave a comment

Filed under LMU Lincoln News

ALLM curator on the new Ford’s Theatre exhibit

As we’ve mentioned before, LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum has put together a special exhibit on technology in the Civil War at the Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership in Washington, D.C.  This exhibition will remain open through July 6, 2014.

We asked Steven Wilson, ALLM’s curator and assistant director, a few questions about the exhibit.

How did the idea of setting up a temporary exhibit at Ford’s Theatre come about, and why did you pick technology in the Civil War as a topic?

The Ford’s Theatre Society saw images of the exhibit on the museum web site. They thought it would make an ideal subject for a temporary exhibit.

How do you go about selecting artifacts and images for an exhibit like this?

We based our selection of images and artifacts on what we had available in the collection, the story we felt necessary to tell, and what we could borrow from other sites. The story changed somewhat as we modified our approach. The theme never changed—how technology changed the process of war.

What will visitors see?  Did you use any objects from other collections?

We expect visitors to see the transformation in America based on the advancement and refinement of machinery. Our purpose was not to provide them with an in-depth view of technology, but rather a headline news approach. From that they can conduct their own examination of the subject. In order to get a clear and at least relatively straightforward view, we felt it was necessary to have some key artifacts in the exhibit. We approached the National Firearms Museum, the Kentucky History Museum, the Tennessee State Museum, the Ohio River Museum, and the Southern Museum for Civil War and Locomotive History. The items we borrowed, such as a lever-action Henry rifle, a model of a steamboat, and the components of a telegraph, provided us with a look into various elements of the subject. Any exhibit is a cooperative adventure and will only succeed with generous partners.

In your opinion, what was the most significant technology to come into use during the Civil War? 

USS Monitor’s turret, photographed after the battle with the CSS Virginia. United States Naval History & Heritage Command, Photo #: NH 61923

In my opinion, ironclad warships changed the course of warfare forever. A good argument could be made for balloons, the telegraph, railroads or other innovations, but the battle between the Virginia and the Monitor changed the course of war at sea in a matter of hours. There were ironclads before the Civil War, but they were traditional ships covered with armor. Monitor and Virginia, despite their limitations, shattered the notion that wooden warships ruled the waves.

How decisive was the Union’s industrial edge in terms of the war’s outcome?

Gallantry,  loyalty, honor, and courage are words often, rightly or wrongly, associated with war. It’s difficult to generate patriotic fervor in the heat of smelted metal, standing downwind from a phalanx of belching smokestacks, or in a factory floor surrounded by rows of clanking machines. But it is equally war. The South had approximately 100,000 factory workers, while the North had 100,000 factories. It was like an industrial avalanche scouring chivalry from Southern lands. To quote Rhett Butler, the South has nothing but “cotton and arrogance.” A little harsh, perhaps, but one must remember that the Civil War was the first war of machines in a land of machines.

Is it accurate to call the Civil War a modern war?

The Civil War is certainly the first modern war, and its placement in history almost ensures it would have been. Machines had been cultivated to serve their masters, and many nations, embracing the potential of industry, committed themselves to the modern art of manufacturing. Look at what came as a result of impending war, or war itself. The Colt revolver, telegraph, ironclad, balloon, revolving turret, Spencer rifle, Henry rifle, Gatling gun, torpedoes, landmines, rifled cannons, submersibles, self-contained ammunition, and thousands of inventions that ranged from the ridiculous to the nonsensical.  There was an Industrial Revolution, and while no government fell directly from its emergence, it destroyed the status quo, reshaped society, and increased the capability of soldiers to kill one another.

What was Lincoln’s relationship with military technology as commander-in-chief?  How active was he in the implementation of new tools to wage the war?

Abraham Lincoln was born with a quiet, natural curiosity. He was drawn to learn how things worked, and his strong methodical mind led him, as he said, “to get to the nub of the problem.” He was an inventor, although he might be classified more as a tinkerer, and it was reported that during travels on the circuit Lincoln would stop and examine farm machinery so that he had an understanding of how it worked. When President Lincoln read of, or saw, or was presented with machines that might reduce death on the battlefield, give the Union an advantage, it simply fascinated him, and he expected his generals to share his enthusiasm. Mostly, generals did not. Lincoln felt the Spencer repeating rifle had possibilities, and said so. He pushed the acceptance of the Monitor when his naval advisors thought the despicable thing nothing more than unholy. He would have climbed into Professor Lowe’s balloon for a bird’s eye-view of the countryside, but the aghast Stanton forbade it. Here is why Lincoln’s approach is important: his goal was to win the war and unite the nation.  He was not deterred by the super-heated enthusiasm of inventors, or the outrage of Ordnance Department officers. He wanted in his hand a device to stop the killing. A lightning bolt would do, but Lincoln would settle for a new repeating rifle.

Any plans to have the exhibit travel elsewhere after it closes at Ford’s?

We’ll have the graphics available for a traveling exhibit late this year.

Finally, what’s your favorite artifact in the exhibit?

My favorite artifact in the exhibit is the model of the U.S.S. Monitor made by that ship’s crew and given to their captain, John Worden. Not only is it a remarkable historical artifact, it’s a token of the crew’s respect for their captain.

1 Comment

Filed under Civil War, LMU Lincoln News

LMU’s museum receives Mary Todd Lincoln items from graduate

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) received a belated Christmas Gift on Friday, December 27, 2013, when alumnus Randy Bumgardner, assistant chief of protocol and general manager of the Blair House, the President’s Guest House in Washington, D.C., delivered two handkerchiefs that belonged to Mary Todd Lincoln.

“This significant contribution to our Lincoln collection is deeply personal. The LMU collection includes many personal treasures of the entire Lincoln family and these additions certainly enhance our view of Mary Todd Lincoln,” LMU President B. James Dawson said. “LMU is fortunate to have alumni like Randy Bumgardner who not only epitomize her mission, but also continue to contribute to her success.”

The handkerchiefs were among personal effects from the wife of 16th President of the United States that were recently sold at auction. While her husband was in office, Mary Todd Lincoln was known to indulge in shopping trips to New York and Philadelphia for personal items and to furnish the White House. Historians often note the large debts Mary Todd Lincoln was left with following her husband’s assassination. Much of that debt is attributed to her shopping habits.

Bumgardner acquired the “ML” monogrammed handkerchiefs in a lot that included around a dozen handkerchiefs. The pair received by the ALLM included a basic white cloth monogrammed with white letters and a more delicate white cloth embellished with light blue embroidery and white letters. Both will be put on display in the museum’s galleries following cataloging.

Bumgardner, a 1983 graduate who worked in the ALLM as a student, also brought the Museum’s collection of presidential signatures current with a hand signed copy of the February 12, 2013, State of the Union Address to the 113th Congress. President Obama signed a bound copy of his address while after a special request from Bumgardner. In his role as manager of Blair House, the President’s Guest House, Bumgardner has put his degree in history and museum studies from LMU to good use as he rolls out the red carpet for world leaders, diplomats and even royalty from around the globe.

Admission to the ALLM is $4 for adults, $2 for children and includes entrance to the galleries. Admission is free for LMU employees and students with their University ID. For more information regarding the ALLM, contact Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell at 423.869.6439.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.

Leave a comment

Filed under LMU Lincoln News

Ford’s Theatre will host new exhibit from LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will display a new exhibit “Abraham Lincoln and the Technology of War” at the Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership in Washington, D.C. Curated by Steven Wilson, ALLM curator and assistant director, the exhibit investigates the significance of inventions and new machines in the Civil War.

Included in the exhibit are artifacts from the B&O Railroad Museum, the Kentucky Military History Museum, the National Firearms Museum, the Center for Northern Indiana History, the Tennessee State Museum and the Vicksburg National Military Park-U.S.S. Cairo. Some rare items from the collection of the ALLM are a Greene bolt-action breech-loading rifle, Captain John Worden’s speaking trumpet and a collection of carte de visite photographs.

“Abraham Lincoln and the Technology of War” will open to the public on February 14, 2014.  The exhibit will remain on display through July 6, 2014. Admission is included with regular daytime visit tickets to Ford’s Theatre, which is free but requires timed entry tickets. Tickets may be reserved in person at Ford’s Theatre Box Office, through Ticketmaster at 800.982.2787, or online at http://www.fords.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War, LMU Lincoln News