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'Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution' subject of Feb. 12 symposium     Send a link to a friend

[JAN. 27, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- "Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution" is the subject of the annual Abraham Lincoln Symposium being held on Lincoln's Birthday, Feb. 12, at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield.

The symposium is sponsored by The Abraham Lincoln Association, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It is free and open to the public.

The day's events will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a book signing by Ronald C. White, author of "The Eloquent President." The symposium sessions begin at 1 p.m. in the Old State Capitol's Hall of Representatives, with Kim Matthew Bauer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library presiding.

"Redressing Wrongs Already Long Enough Endured: Lincoln and the Executive Power" will be presented by Herman Belz, professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Belz received the Albert J. Beveridge Award for his first book, "Reconstruction and the Union: Theory and Policy during the Civil War" (1969). He has written two other books, "A New Birth of Freedom: The Republican Party and Freedman's Rights, 1861-1866" (1976) and "Emancipation and Equal Rights: Politics and Constitutionalism in the Civil War Era" (1978). Belz joined Alfred H. Kelly and Winfred A. Harbison as co-author of "The American Constitution: Its Origins and Development" (1983).

Phillip Shaw Paludan, Naomi Lynn Lincoln Chair at the University of Illinois at Springfield, will present "Lincoln and Democracy." Paludan's publications include "A Covenant with Death: The Constitution, Law, and Equality in the Civil War Era" (1975); "Victims: A True Story of the Civil War" (1981); "‘A People's Contest': The Union and Civil War, 1861-1865" (1988); and "The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln" (1994). Paludan is a winner of the Lincoln Prize.

"Lincoln's Constitutional Legacy" will be presented by Daniel A. Farber, the Sho Sato Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley. Farber earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was editor of the University Law Review. He clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and practiced law before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois Law School. Farber has also served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota Law School and has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Stanford and Harvard law schools. His publications include "Lincoln's Constitution" (2003), "Desperately Seeking Certainty" (2002), "Eco-Pragmatism: Making Sensible Environmental Decisions in an Uncertain World" (1999) and "The First Amendment" (1998).

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Comments on the presentations will be made by Sandra F. VanBurkleo, associate professor of history at Wayne State University. VanBurkleo has a Ph.D. in American constitutional and legal history. Her publications include "‘Belonging to the World': Women's Rights and American Constitutional Culture" (2001) and, as editor with Kermit Hall and Robert Kaczorowski, "Constitutionalism and American Culture: Writing the New Constitutional History" (2002).

The annual Abraham Lincoln Association Banquet will be at 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Springfield Hotel. The banquet speaker will be Mark A. Plummer, professor of history emeritus at Illinois State University. Plummer is the author of "Frontier Governor: Samuel J. Crawford of Kansas" and "Robert G. Ingersoll: Peoria's Pagan Politician." His "Lincoln's Railsplitter: Governor Richard J. Oglesby" received the Book of the Year award from the Illinois State Historical Society in 2002. Plummer served as chairman of the history department at Illinois State University, where he taught from 1960 until his retirement.

Reservations for the banquet, at $50 per person, must be made by Feb. 9. Call (217) 747-5502 or visit for more information.

The Abraham Lincoln Association is one of the oldest and the largest group devoted to the study of Abraham Lincoln and his times. Founded in 1908 to celebrate the Lincoln centennial, the Abraham Lincoln Association is the leader in Lincoln research and publications. It publishes the distinguished Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association as well as a quarterly newsletter.

[Illinois Historic Preservation Agency news release]


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