Lincoln and American Values

On September 20, 2008, the Center for the National Archives Experience celebrated the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth with a daylong symposium, Lincoln and American Values. The symposium provided historical insight into some of the most critically important facets of Lincoln's Presidency.

Lincoln and American Values

Allen Weinstein

Introduction and Welcoming Remarks

Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, Marvin Pinkert; Executive Director of the National Archives Experience, and Harold Holzer, Co-Chairman, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and author of Lincoln at Cooper Union.

Harold Holzer

Lincoln and the Constitution

Lincoln regarded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as living in a dynamic harmony with each other. This panel examined how Lincoln set a pattern that continues to be debated to this day, as the Constitution and the Declaration are often seen to be in conflict with each other. Moderated by Harold Holzer, panelists include Frank J. Williams, co-author of The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views; Michael Vorenberg, associate professor at Brown University and author of Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment; and Brian Dirck, associate professor of history at Anderson University, and author of Lincoln the Lawyer.

Michael Vorenberg

Lincoln and Emancipation

The Emancipation Proclamation is Lincoln's most sweeping Presidential act. This panel discussed the fact that although Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation have been revered as symbols of liberation, understanding the Proclamation has often proven puzzling. Moderated by Michael Vorenberg, panelists include Edna Greene Medford, associate professor of history, Howard University and co-author of The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views ; James Horton, Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History, George Washington University and author of Slavery and the Making of America; and Frank J. Williams.

Tom Wheeler

Lincoln's Legacy as Commander in Chief

As the only President whose entire administration was surrounded by war, Lincoln became one of the most active Commanders in Chief in U.S. history. This panel discussed Lincoln's legacy as a wartime President and his leadership of the Civil War. Moderated by Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln's T Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War, panelists include Craig Symonds, author of Lincoln and His Admirals; James L. Swanson, author of Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer; and David Work, professor of history, Texas A&M University.

Lincoln and American Values is generously supported and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and endorsed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.