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04/21/2014

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War

In connection with the traveling exhibit "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," Mississippi State University Libraries is sponsoring two speakers on April 21 and May 5.  

The Honorable Frank J. Williams will present "Justice: Comparing President Abraham Lincoln and Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney" on April 21, 2014 at 10 a.m. in the John Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library with a reception to follow. Dr. Stephen Middleton will present "Abraham Lincoln, the Constitution, and the Preservation of the Union" on May 5, 2014 at 3 p.m. in the John Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library with a reception to follow. 

"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," a traveling exhibition opening at the Mitchell Memorial Library on April 1, 2014, examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War—the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. The traveling exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln's first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" will be on display at the library until May 16.

Frank J. Williams is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. A graduate of Boston University Law School, and a longtime jurist in the Rhode Island court system, he is also a veteran of the United States Army, having served three years in Germany and one year in Vietnam. Williams is one of the country's most renowned experts on Abraham Lincoln, having authored or edited over 14 books, including The Emancipation Proclamation:  Three Views, with Edna Greene Medford and Harold Holzer, and Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leaders, with William D. Pederson, which includes a chapter by John F. Marszalek, Grant Association Executive Director. Since 1996, Chief Justice Williams has served as founding chairman of The Lincoln Forum, a national assembly of Lincoln and Civil War devotees. For nine years, he served as president of the Abraham Lincoln Association and, for 14 years, as president of The Lincoln Group of Boston. He is also the long-standing president of the Ulysses S. Grant Association.

Dr. Stephen Middleton is a professional historian, specializing in the constitutional and legal development of the United States. He holds a B.A. in history from Morris College in Sumter, where he graduated cum laude, a master's degree from The Ohio State University, and a doctorate from Miami University (Ohio). Currently, he is the director of African American Studies and Professor of History at Mississippi State University.  

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.