Lincoln’s Changing Views on Slavery


By: Chelsea Ratterman,  Assistant Editor

Through Oct. 3 the LRC will feature the “Forever Free” Abraham Lincoln Exhibit; which is touring the United States in honor of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Events and lectures have been planned for the duration of the exhibit’s visit and after. Dr. Alan Ball presented one lecture on Sep. 7 in the LRC on “Lincoln’s Changing Views on Slavery.” Dr. Ball is an adjunct instructor on campus, teaching U.S. History. The lecture presented a wealth of facts, which are not found in the general education.  For example:

  •  Did you know that Abraham Lincoln had a black valet who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery? His tombstone contains his name, date of birth and death as well as the word “Citizen.” This was to “stick it” to the judge who presided over the Dred Scott case, which ruled that African Americans are not citizens.
  •  Lincoln held off on signing the Emancipation Proclamation because of a pain in his hand. He did not want it to appear he hesitated if his signature looked shaky.
  •  He started out as President without a course of action on slavery. He was actually against black soldiers in the army. His ultimate course changer was the war itself and its need for manpower.
  •  The political parties we have today are not the parties of Lincoln’s day. The parties have actually done a complete 180. Republicans then are what we consider Democrats now. The switch was caused in 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The exhibit is made up of a line of panels each detailing a pivotal time in Lincoln’s life.  Exhibit on display at the LRC through October 1st.    Photo by Chelsea Ratterman

    The exhibit is made up of a line of panels each detailing a pivotal time in Lincoln’s life. Exhibit on display at the LRC through October 1st. Photo by Chelsea Ratterman

On Sep.15, professor Michelle Brockmier spoke on the Civil Wars effect on women.  Michael Lasser, who has guest lectured around the country on popular music as social history, will be speaking on Sep. 22 on the songs of the Civil War. In association with Banned Books Week, (Sep. 25 to Oct. 1), books that were banned during Lincoln’s time will be showcased on Sep. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in front of the LRC.

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