Lincoln, Race, and the Future of American Freedom with Dr. Lucas E. Morel

July 26th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

As the United States was trending towards the nationalization of slavery in 1860, presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln stood as the lone alternative to the so-called “popular sovereignty” of Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas and the pro-slavery stance of Vice President John Breckinridge of Kentucky. While both Douglas and Breckinridge would have presided over the legal spread of slavery into every state and territory, Lincoln saw Douglas as the greater threat to the future of freedom in America. Douglas’s moral indifference towards black enslavement would not require white northerners to approve of slavery but simply acquiesce in its expansion—a result enabled by the racial bigotry prevalent north as well as south of the Mason-Dixon line. Once accomplished, the legal groundwork would be set to prevent northern states from continuing to prohibit slavery by law or constitution. This lecture will show how Lincoln attempted to reverse a trend not only towards the spread of slavery but also the entrenchment of white supremacy in America.

This hybrid lecture program is presented both in-person and online by Dr. Lucas E. Morel, the John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University and offered in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Virtual Attendance

Should you prefer to attend virtually, please visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Reframing Lincoln Seminar Lecture Schedule. Once on the page, scroll down to July 26th to find this event. Please note, you will be required to create a free account to register, but attendance for the event is free of charge. 

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