Lincoln Prize Winners in Conversation at the Newberry

Michael Burlingame and Douglas L. Wilson

Discuss the Language of Lincoln

W. H. Pratt, Proclamation of Emancipation Abraham Lincoln, 1867. Case oversize E453 .P73 1867
W. H. Pratt, Proclamation of Emancipation Abraham Lincoln, 1867. Case oversize E453 .P73 1867
October 2013

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and in conjunction with the Newberry’s Civil War exhibition, distinguished Lincoln scholars Douglas L. Wilson and Michael Burlingame, both of whom are recipients of the Lincoln Prize for published books, will discuss the language and rhetoric of President Lincoln. Part of the “Conversations at the Newberry” series, this special evening also will include a reading of the Gettysburg Address by Peter Garino of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago.

The event begins at 6 pm Thursday, November 21, two days after the sesquicentennial of the Gettysburg Address. Doors open at 5:30 pm and guests will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. The “Conversations at the Newberry” series is sponsored by Sue and Melvin Gray and is free and open to the public.

Douglas L. Wilson is the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. He specializes in American literature and, in addition to research and writing on Abraham Lincoln, has published extensively on the thought and writings of Thomas Jefferson. Wilson has twice won the Lincoln Prize, for Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (2007) and Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln (1999). With Lincoln Center co-director Rodney O. Davis, Wilson in 1998 published Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln, which was hailed in the New York Review of Books as “a monumental achievement of scholarship.” With Davis, Wilson is currently working on an edition of William H. Herndon’s own writings about Abraham Lincoln, which will stand as a companion to Herndon’s Informants as a source of information on the pre-presidential Lincoln. Wilson also serves on the board of advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, as well as the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and many other Lincoln-related public history projects.

Michael Burlingame holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, whose faculty he joined in 2009. He retired from Connecticut College in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. Burlingame is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 vols, 2008), which won the 2010 Lincoln Prize, and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (1994). In addition, he has edited several volumes of Lincoln primary source materials including An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln: John G. Nicolay’s Interviews and Essays (1996); Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay (1997), co-edited with John R. Turner Ettlinger; and Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks (1998), among many others. In addition to the Lincoln Prize, Burlingame has received the Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize (1996), the Lincoln Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University (1998), Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize (2001), and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009. He lives in Springfield, Illinois, where he is working on several Lincoln-related projects.

Peter Garino is Artistic Director and founding member of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to offering theatrical readings of Shakespeare and other great dramatists’ works to the community without charge. The Shakespeare Project fosters the talents of members of the Actors’ Equity Association. The Newberry has been a project venue since 2003.