"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," a national traveling exhibition that focuses on Abraham Lincoln's struggle to meet the constitutional challenges of the Civil War, opens at Kimbel Library at Coastal Carolina University on Oct. 12 and runs through Nov. 28. The exhibit is free and open to the community, and several lectures and events are planned during its showing.
The exhibit examines how President Abraham Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War: the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties. Lincoln was elected the 16th president in 1860. By the time he took the oath of office, seven states had already seceded from the Union. Informative panels feature photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln's first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.
Several campus events have been planned in connection with this exhibition:
• An opening ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 4:30 p.m. at the library, with remarks by University Provost Robert Sheehan; Barbara Burd, dean of Kimbel Library; and Ben Burroughs, director of the Horry County Archives Center.
• "Lincoln's Constitutional Crisis: South Carolinians React," on Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. at the James J. Johnson Auditorium of the Wall College of Business. This faculty panel discussion led by Rod Gragg, John Navin and Wink Prince of CCU's history faculty, will examine how South Carolinians reacted on a personal and social level to the constitutional dilemmas that influenced Lincoln's campaign and presidency.
• "Society and Culture in the Age of Lincoln," on Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m., in the James J. Johnson Auditorium, a talk by Maggi Morehouse, noted professor of Southern history and a new member of the CCU's Department of History. Morehouse has published articles and books on African-American history and Southern history, including "Fighting in the Jim Crow Army" (2006). Signed copies of her newest book, "Civil War America: A Social and Cultural History," will be available at the event.
• Noted Lincoln scholar Vernon Burton will present "Lincoln, Calhoun and the Constitution" on Nov. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the James J. Johnson Auditorium. Burton will examine both Lincoln and Calhoun's constitutional dilemmas. The director for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences for the Cyber-institute at Clemson University, Burton was previously CCU's Burroughs Distinguished Professor of Southern History and Culture. He is the author of "In My Father's House Are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield County, South Carolina" (1985), "The Age of Lincoln" (2007) and many other books. He serves on the board of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and has presented numerous lectures on Lincoln.
"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" is an exhibit organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.
For more information about these events, visit the Kimbel Library website at coastal.edu/library or call Ben Burroughs at 843-349-4056.