2019 Mary and James Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Lecture
In Springfield, Illinois, there are two things that are near dear to the hearts of locals: horseshoes and Abraham Lincoln. Every year UIS presents a lecture for community members and students that discusses Lincoln’s life, his legacy, and related history. This year came with a surprise announcement. From now on, this lecture series will be named the Mary and James Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Series, and this coincides with the upcoming opening of the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies. There was a reception before the lecture, allowing for locals and traveling professors to discuss Lincoln, the man who had united them for the evening.
Dr. Michael Burlingame, UIS professor and distinguished Abraham Lincoln scholar, moderated the event. Dr. Jason Silverman, retired professor from Winthrop University, presented on Lincoln and his role in immigration, as well as his regard for immigrants in the United States. Dr. Mark Steiner, South Texas University School of Law in Houston Professor of Law, presented on the different types of citizenship within the United States, and how Lincoln handled creating African American citizenship. All three professors pointed out that Lincoln wasn’t always the perfect president that he is made out to be. Both visiting professors discussed the nuanced, darker sides of their topics and made compelling arguments to showcase that not all that we remember about Lincoln is true today. History has a way of smoothing out wrinkles and tinting men rosy, but these scholars cleared aside the magic of time and discussed the truth of Honest Abe.