Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and Race

This seminar will investigate Lincoln's views on slavery, race, and equality in the United States. Emphasizing primary sources - mainly Lincoln's own writings, but also perspectives from Frederick Douglass, Steven Douglas, and others - we will discuss Lincoln in context and consider how we should understand him in the present. Topics to be considered include Lincoln's role in the wartime destruction of slavery, debates about the right to vote, John Wilkes Booth and the assassination, and parties at the Lincoln White House. The goal is to challenge clichés and develop a deeper understanding of a critical moment in the American past and its implications for the present.