Lincoln on Slavery, Race, and Civil Liberties

Michael Burlingame, University of Illinois at Springfield
February 20, 2010

Session 1
(95:07 minutes)

Session 2
(92:37 minutes)

The morning session focuses on Lincoln’s analysis of slavery, rooted in the natural rights tradition. We also examine the origins of Lincoln’s deep-seated hatred of slavery and his evolving attitudes toward race.

The afternoon session addresses two related questions:

  1. Did Lincoln violate the Constitution by unilaterally suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus?
  2. Did Lincoln use the suspension power to crush political dissent?

Michael Burlingame is holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life (2 vols.; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) and The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 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, Inside Lincoln’s White House: The Complete Civil War Diary of John Hay – co-edited with John R. Turner Ettlinger, Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks, and many others.

He 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, Gettysburg College (2001), and was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009.


Morning Session —– Lincoln, Race, and Slavery

Afternoon Session —– Lincoln, the Constitution, and Habeas Corpus

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