November 19 meeting – York CWRT
Honest Abe. The Rail Splitter. The Great Emancipator. The Buffoon. In his lifetime, Abraham Lincoln elicited many nicknames, most positive and some decidedly unflattering. Lincoln was a polarizing figure, with almost as many detractors as admirers. Newspapers of the period were biased, depending upon political backing, and hundreds of anti-Lincoln cartoons exist.
Speaker Andrew Martin will present what promises to be a fascinating talk on the life of Lincoln at the next meeting of the York Civil War Round Table on Wednesday, November 19 at 7 p.m. at the York County Heritage Trust in downtown York. The meeting, as always, is free to the public, so be sure to mark your calendars! His presentation is entitled “Abraham Lincoln as Seen Through the Eyes of Many Historians.”
Andy Martin has been a Lincoln scholar for 35 years. He is recently retired from teaching Government and U.S. History in the York City Schools for the past 33 years. Born in Medford, Massachusetts, he holds a masters’ degree in history from Millersville University. Martin is a member of the York CWRT.
He writes, “The presentation for the November 19, 2008 York CWRT will center on the different interpretations that have surfaced concerning our sixteenth President, Abraham Lincoln. As the years have progressed, new information has come to light about this President and the way that historians view his role in American History. My lecture will start at the infamous Lincoln-Douglas Senate debates of 1858 when the noted railroad lawyer Lincoln has his first real taste of a national spotlight. Even though the position was for Senator from the state of Illinois, the ramifications of this election electrified the nation and made it a top news story.
Next we will take a look at Lincoln as he makes his decision to run for President on the new Republican Party. How do historians rate his move towards that position and what manuevers did he make to steal votes from the leading Republican contenders? Third, we will look at Lincoln as President and what decisions he made in the beginning of his Presidency. Fourth, we will look at later Lincoln as he gains experience and begins to change his views towards slavery, black votes, and the overall governmental makeup of a postwar United States. Last, we will look at Lincoln the man as he has changed in the minds of historians from almost a status of demi-god to one of an ambitious politician thrust into a maelstrom of war.
This is the basis of my lecture.