Abraham Lincoln Institute Symposiums

“The Latest in Lincoln Scholarship”

Eleventh Annual Symposium

Abraham Lincoln Institute, Inc. (ALI), provides free, ongoing education on the life, career, and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ALI offers resources for educators, governmental and community leaders, and the general public through symposia, seminars, lectures, and special events.

National Archives II
College Park, Maryland

March 29, 2008

Co-sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Institute, Inc., the National Archives, the Foundation for the National Archives, the Illinois State Society of Washington, D.C., and the generosity of individual donors; and, endorsed by the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Gabor Boritt › How Some Few ‘Remarks’ Became the ‘Gettysburg Address’

Dr. Boritt traced the course of Lincoln’s short speech at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery. Few recognized its greatness in 1863; yet, by the early 20th century, the “Gettysburg Address’ was comparable in significance to the “Lord’s Prayer.”PhD, Director, Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College

Dr. Boritt is the Robert Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies as well as Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Born in World War II Hungary, he participated in the 1956 revolution against the Soviet Union. He is the author, co-author, or editor of sixteen books about Lincoln and the Civil War. Boritt and his wife live on a farm near the Gettysburg, PA, Battlefield.

Key Publication: Gettysburg Gospel

William C. Harris › Lincoln and the Mexican-American War Revisited

Dr. Harris provided fresh insights on Lincoln’s justification for his opposition to the war and the political effect, at the time and later, of his opposition.PhD, Professor Emeritus of History, North Carolina State University

Dr. Harris is the author of several noteworthy books on Lincoln:

  • With Charity for All: Lincoln and the Restoration of the Union (1997)* Winner, Lincoln Prize, Second Place, for Civil War history, 1998
  • Lincoln’s Last Months (2004)
  • Lincoln’s Rise to the Presidency (2007)* Winner, Henry Adams Prize, Society for History in the Federal Government
William Lee Miller › Lincoln Does His Duty as a Statesman

Dr. Miller described Lincoln as both a politician and statesman, one who was at once morally praiseworthy, practically successful, and enormously engaging.PhD, Scholar in Ethics and Institutions, Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia

Dr. Miller now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has taught at Yale University, Smith College, and Indiana University.

Dr. Miller’s previous books include:

  • Arguing About Slavery: John Quincy Adams and the Great Battle in the American Congress
  • Lincoln’s Virtues, an Ethical Biography
David Work › Why Lincoln Appointed Political Generals

Dr. Work discussed Lincoln’s belief that the policy of appointing politicians generals was essential to build a national coalition to wage civil war.PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, Doha, Qatar

Dr. Work PhD study was concentrated on the Civil War and the Reconstruction. He has been teaching at TexasA&M University since 2004.

Key Publication: Lincoln’s Political Generals


The Lincoln – Douglas Debates – Relying on new scholarly analysis of the texts and the historical context of the Debates, the panel discussed the role of the Debates in Lincoln’s political emergence.

Rodney O. Davis, Ph.D. – Co-Director, Lincoln Studies Center Knox College

Dr. Davis taught American History at Knox College from 1963 until 1997, before becoming co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College.

Dr. Davis has co-edited, with Douglas L. Wilson:

Key Publications:

  • Herndon’s Informants: Letters, Interviews and Statements About Abraham Lincoln
  • Herndon’s Lincoln

Additionally, Dr. Davis is editor or co-editor of five other books and some 60 essays and reviews on Illinois History, Abraham Lincoln, and the United States in the Nineteenth Century.

Douglas L. Wilson, Ph.D. – Co-Director Lincoln Studies Center Knox College

Dr. Wilson is the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Dr. Wilson is also a two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize for:

  • Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words (2006)
  • Honor’s Voice (1999)
Allen C. Guelzo, Ph.D. – Luce Professor, Civil War Era Studies Gettysburg College

Dr. Guelzo also directs The Gettysburg Semester at Gettysburg College.

Dr. Guelzo is the author of several noteworthy books on Lincoln:

  • Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (1999)* Winner, Lincoln Prize
  • Lincoln’s Last Months (2004)* Winner, Lincoln Prize
  • Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (2004)
  • Lincoln and Douglas – The Debates that Defined America