Tag: Abraham Lincoln

Treasures of Lawrence: 8 cool finds during a Lawrence University treasure hunt

Some of the 220-plus rare books are seen on the shelves at the Wriston Art Center.
More than 200 rare books can be found in the Wriston Art Center. That’s just one stop on a Lawrence University treasure hunt that’ll take you across campus. Go do this!

Story by Isabella Mariani ’21

Lawrence University has accumulated some pretty amazing things over the years.

Since you might be surprised at what artifacts await your discovery right here on campus, we’re highlighting eight items that should be on your radar. Use it as a guide for your own treasure hunt around Lawrence.

The casts of Abraham Lincoln’s hands are found in the Lincoln Room in the Mudd Library.

1. Bronze casts of Abraham Lincoln’s face and hands

I had a lot of questions when I first saw these in the Lincoln Room in the Seeley G. Mudd Library, so I’ll tell you everything I found out. In 2000, the casts were gifted to Lawrence by avid Lincoln scholar and Lawrence alum Robert S. French ’48. The Lincoln Room was also funded by French and his sister, and stocked with a collection of Lincoln books.

The casts were made by Victor Bocchetta in the 1970s. They’re among 3,000 copies of the plaster originals, made in 1860 by sculptor Leonard Volk in Springfield, Illinois, the one-time home of the 16th American president. The molds were done shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration; you can see that his right hand is swollen from shaking hands with supporters.

A page is opened in a first edition of Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice," part of the Nelson Collection at Lawrence.
A first edition of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is part of the Earl and Aubrey Richmond Collection.

2. Rare books in Wriston

Lovers of literature and history will be thrilled by the rare books in the Nelson Collection in the Wriston Art Center. Among the 228 printed works, first editions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and John Steinbeck’s East of Eden are included in this noteworthy collection.

The books are on long-term loan to the university from Susan Nelson Goldsmith ’65 and Eric Nelson, through the estate of their mother, Ann Sullivan Nelson MD-’41. 

Want to see the books? Contact the Wriston galleries staff to set up an appointment.

Temperature-controlled storage areas in Wriston house a sprawling art collection.

3. Wriston Art Gallery collection

Here’s something you might not know: Lawrence has collected about 5,710 fascinating pieces of art in donations from alumni, professors and community members. These include works by Delacroix, Kandinsky, Klee and Bouguereau; Japanese woodblock prints, featuring prints by Hiroshige; and ancient ceramics and coins.

In order to preserve and protect them, these valuable pieces are stored in high security, temperature-controlled storage areas in Wriston. But don’t be intimidated. Students can schedule appointments to take a look at the collections, for research or just for fun. Search the collection online here.

Photo of the Hiett Hall fireplace, found on the fourth floor.
The fireplace on the fourth floor of Hiett Hall has some rock-solid history to it.

4. One of the oldest rocks in the world is in the Hiett fireplace

When you’re cozied up to a fireplace doing your classwork, you probably don’t think about where the materials for that fireplace came from. Well, the fireplace in the fourth floor Hiett Hall lounge has a story to tell.

It’s overlaid with slabs of beautiful Morton gneiss, one of the oldest rocks in the world; 3.6 billion years old, to be sort of exact. These particular slabs of decorative ancient stone were once part of the façade of the JC Penny building in downtown Appleton. In 2002, Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of Geology Marcia Bjornerud found out the building would be torn down. She got them to donate the rock to Lawrence, where it was included in Hiett Hall, which finished construction in 2003.

This chimpanzee skeleton is viewable in Briggs Hall. It’s a teaching tool in Anthropology.

5. Chimpanzee skeleton is back

This one’s a real mystery, and a success story. No one knows where this skeleton came from or how it found its way to campus. We do know that it was originally articulated in 1949 by Richard H. Dorsey ’51. For the next 70 years the skeleton was used as a teaching tool. It hung on a hook, falling into disrepair, until recent graduate Claudia Rohr ’19 rearticulated and repaired it as an independent study. You can see the chimp standing proudly on display in Briggs, where it continues to be used as a teaching tool in anthropology labs.

The Brombaugh organ is a centerpiece on the stage of Memorial Chapel.

6. Brombaugh organ for the ages

This isn’t a hidden gem. The impressive instrument is the pièce de résistance of Memorial Chapel. But the Brombaugh organ is still a treasure. Builder John Brombaugh modeled it after a 1685 organ by Englishman “Father” Bernard Smith, giving it the appearance of a 17th century cathedral mainstay. Famously, the organ’s debut in May 1995 was so highly anticipated that the opening performance by Professor George Damp was given twice. In 1997, it was the featured organ at the American Guild of Organists Region Six convention. You can hear the organ played at chapel performances and convocations.

This piece of rock fell to earth a long, long time ago. Now it sits in Steitz Hall of Science.

7. A piece of one of the oldest, largest earth impacts

1.85 billion years ago, a comet struck present-day Ontario. Today, a fragment from the impact sits on a lab counter in Steitz Hall. It was found in a surface outcrop in the Upper Peninsula, hundreds of miles away from the impact site. The crater, called the Sudbury Basin, is the second-largest impact crater ever formed, as well as one of the oldest. Pay a visit to this chunk of rock in Steitz if you enjoy having existential crises.

Teakwood Room doesn’t feature just one piece of history. The entire room is history.

8. Teakwood room: A Downer connection

It’s hard to believe you’re still on the Lawrence campus when you’re in this room, or even in the 21st century. But it’s a piece of Lawrence; a perfectly preserved monument to its past. The room was originally in the home of Alice G. Chapman, a faithful benefactor of Milwaukee-Downer College. After her passing in 1935, the room was moved to the Milwaukee-Downer Library and became beloved by students. It was disassembled and brought to Lawrence in 1968 after the two schools consolidated in 1964. Its doors are open in Alice G. Chapman Hall; feel free to stroll into the past and view the antique furniture, art and paneling.

Did we miss anything? Tell us about the treasures you’ve found on the Lawrence campus.

Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communication office.

Panel of Lawrence Scholars Examine Constitutional Issues Faced by President Lincoln

Jerald Podair

A three-member panel of scholars will discuss constitutional issues presented by the Civil War Thursday, Jan. 10 at 4:30 p.m. in  Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The program will include a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The presentation is in conjunction with the 1,000-square-foot traveling exhibit “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” that is on display in Lawrence’s Seeley G. Mudd Library until Feb. 8. Both the panel presentation and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

Arnold Shober

Participating in the discussion will be Lawrence faculty members Jerald Podair, professor of history and Robert S. French Professor of American Studies, and Arnold Shober, associate professor of government. Joining them will be 1981 Lawrence graduate James Cornelius, curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, Ill.

James Cornelius ’81

The panel will examine a variety of topics, among them:

What the words “all men are created equal” meant in the Declaration of Independence, what they meant to Jefferson Davis and his fellow Confederates and how did Lincoln interpret the word “equal?”

Was secession constitutional?

How did Lincoln and Jefferson Davis reflect clashing understandings of the nature of the “more perfect Union” established by the Constitution?

Did the Constitution form an unbreakable “contract” with the American people or a revocable “compact” between sovereign states?

How did the stresses of civil war erode civil liberties in the United States?

How did Lincoln balance national security and personal freedom during the Civil War, especially with regard to Northern critics of the war?

Was Lincoln an extraconstitutional “tyrant,” as his political enemies argued?

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

 

Lawrence University Hosts Traveling Exhibition on Lincoln’s Constitutional Challenges of the Civil War

Lawrence University will serve as an eight-week host of a traveling exhibition that examines how President Abraham Lincoln used the U.S. Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War: the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.

The 1,000-square-foot exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” will be displayed on the second floor of Lawrence’s Seeley G. Mudd Library.  The exhibition, which opens Dec. 14 and runs until Feb. 8, is free and open to the public.

Lawrence is the first of four stops the exhibition will make in Wisconsin between now and the end of 2015.

Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents, but his historical reputation is contested. Was he a calculating politician willing to accommodate slavery, or a principled leader justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator?

The exhibition encourages visitors to form a nuanced view of Lincoln by engaging them with his struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality. The exhibition develops a more complete understanding of Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.

Each section of the exhibit highlights different aspects of Lincoln’s presidency, such as slavery, which examines the various policy options Lincoln once embraced and how his thoughts about slavery evolved over time.  The exhibition is composed of informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment.

Elected president in 1860 when the nation was on the brink of civil war, Lincoln struggled to resolve the basic questions that divided Americans at the most perilous moment in the country’s history: Was the United States truly one nation, or was it a confederacy of sovereign and separate states? How could a country founded on the belief that “all men are created equal” tolerate slavery? In a national crisis, would civil liberties be secure? As president, Lincoln used the Constitution to confront these three crises of war, ultimately reinventing the Constitution and the promise of American life.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Lawrence will hold a three-member panel discussion on constitutional issues Thursday, Jan. 10 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Auditorium. Panel participants will include:

• 1981 Lawrence graduate James Cornelius, curator of the Lincoln Collection in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

• Jerald Podair, professor of history and Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence.

• Arnold Shober, associate professor of government at Lawrence.

“We are delighted Lawrence has been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Peter Gilbert, director of the Mudd Library. “Not only does the exhibition dovetail nicely with the library’s own Lincoln Reading Room and its important collections, but the content of the exhibition is still relevant today. The exhibition highlights Lincoln’s struggles with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties — all questions the Constitution left unanswered. I think it will be terrifically interesting and informative.”

The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Abraham Lincoln’s Role in Personal Freedom Focus of Lawrence University Address

APPLETON, WIS. — Orville Vernon Burton, noted scholar of the Civil War and the American South, discusses Abraham Lincoln’s most profound accomplishment in the second address of Lawrence University’s two-part Robert S. French Lectures on the Civil War Era.

Burton presents “The Age of Lincoln” Monday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

Orville%20Vernon%20Burton_web.jpgWhile Abraham Lincoln is narrowly identified as the “Civil War president,” Burton argues Lincoln actually defined the entire second half of 19th-century American history by setting in motion the forces that made individual freedom America’s preeminent value. Burton will examine the role Lincoln’s Southern roots played in conducting a civil war that turned freedom into a personal right protected by the rule of law and placed that concept at the center of American identity.

Burton, the Distinguished Professor of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois, is author or editor of 14 books, including the 2007 Pulitzer Prize-nominated “The Age of Lincoln.” His 1985 book, “In My Father’s House are Many Mansions: Family and Community in Edgefield, South Carolina,” also was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Burton’s scholarship includes race relations, politics, religion and the intersection of humanities and social science. He teaching and scholarship has been widely honored, including the 2004 American Historical Association’s Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Prize and the 1999 U.S. Research and Doctoral University Professor of the Year Award, presented by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

The French Lectures on the Civil War Era are supported by the Wisconsin Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Lawrence University Excellence in History Fund and the Lawrence history department.

Acclaimed Civil War Historian Discusses Lincoln’s Legacy in Lawrence University Address

APPLETON, WIS. — Pulitzer Prize-winning author and renowned Civil War historian James McPherson delivers the opening address in Lawrence University’s two-part Robert S. French Lectures on the Civil War Era.

James-McPherson_web.jpg

McPherson, the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University, presents “Lincoln’s Legacy for our Time” Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

When President Lincoln transformed the Civil War into a “Second American Revolution,” he launched a national debate over the nature of American equality and freedom that still rages today. McPherson will discuss how the unfulfilled promise of that revolution represents Lincoln’s legacy – and challenge – for modern Americans.

One of the country’s most honored historians, McPherson spent 42 years on the history department faculty at Princeton before retiring in 2004.

He has written extensively about the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, abolition and Reconstruction and is the author of 15 books, including the national best seller “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era,” which earned the 1989 Pulitzer Prize in history. In 1998, he received the Lincoln Prize, which is awarded annually for the finest scholarly English work on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or a subject relating to their era for his book “For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War.”

Most recently he wrote 2007’s “This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War” and 2008’s “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief.”

McPherson has served as a consultant on the 1993 film “Gettysburg,” and two PBS television documentaries, Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” and “Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided.”

The French Lectures on the Civil War Era are supported by the Wisconsin Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Lawrence University Excellence in History Fund and the Lawrence history department.

Historian Ronald White Opens Lincoln Exhibition at Lawrence University with Lecture on Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Noted historian and author Ronald C. White, Jr. helps launch a six-week visit of a traveling exhibition on Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to abolish slavery Thursday, Jan. 22 at Lawrence University.

Based on his 2002 best-selling book of the same name, White presents “Lincoln’s Greatest Speech” at 4 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. His address is the first of a three-past series in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” which will be on display in Lawrence’s Seeley G. Mudd Library from Jan. 21 – March 5. White’s address, the 2004 Marguerite Schumann Memorial Lecture, is free and open to the public.

A professor of American intellectual and religious history at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, White has drawn critical praise for his book, which carefully examines Lincoln’s second inaugural address. Delivered on March 4, 1865, six weeks to the day before he died, the address was the last major speech of Lincoln’s life and came to be regarded as his epitaph, according to White.

In his book, White places Lincoln’s brief remarks in historical context, demonstrating how Lincoln attempted to shape public sentiment through the power of eloquent and carefully calculated rhetoric. The address was only 701 words long — 505 of which were monosyllabic — but it mentions God 14 times, includes four Scripture quotations and evokes prayer four times.

White, who earned his Ph.D. in religion and history at Princeton University, has written or edited five other books, including “Liberty and Justice for All: Racial Reform and the Social Gospel.”

The “Forever Free” exhibition will be displayed on the second floor of the library on two 75-foot-long sectioned panels featuring reproductions of rare historical documents, period photographs and illustrative material, including engravings, lithographs, cartoons and miscellaneous political items.

The exhibition has been organized by the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, in cooperation with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition was been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lawrence University Historian Examines Paradoxes of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation

Was President Abraham Lincoln acting on purely moral grounds when he issued his famous proclamation that ended slavery in the United States? Lawrence University historian Jerald Podair argues Lincoln’s motivation was driven by more than repugnancy for the institution of slavery.

Podair presents “Back Door to Freedom: The Paradoxes of the Emancipation Proclamation,” Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.in the Wriston Art Center auditorium on the Lawrence campus.

Podair’s address is in conjunction with the traveling national exhibition, “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” which is on display in the Lawrence library until March 5. Both the lecture and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

Podair will explore the pragmatic reasons behind Lincoln’s decision, examining the Emancipation Proclamation not merely as a moral gesture of idealism but as a war measure to preserve the Union by destroying the Confederacy’s capacity to make war through its most important asset — slave labor. Podair argues part of the United States’ peculiar genius lies in its ability to produce leaders like Lincoln, who understood that pragmatism and self-interest may not be paradoxes after all.

A specialist on 20th-century American history, urban history and race relations and the author of the 2003 book “The Strike That Changed New York: Blacks, Whites and the Ocean Hall-Brownsville Crisis,” Podair joined the Lawrence history department in 1998. Promoted to associate professor in 2003, he earned his Ph.D. at Princeton University.

Traveling National Exhibition on Lincoln Makes Six-Week Stop at Lawrence University

A traveling exhibition examining President Lincoln’s efforts toward the abolition of slavery during the Civil War will make its only appearance in Wisconsin during a six-week stay in Lawrence University’s Seeley G. Mudd Library.

Lawrence, one of only 40 sites in the country the exhibition will visit, hosts “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” Jan. 21, 2004 – March 5. The exhibition will be located on the south end of the library’s second floor.

Displayed on two 75-foot-long sectioned panels, the exhibition features reproductions of rare historical documents, period photographs and illustrative material, including engravings, lithographs, cartoons and miscellaneous political items.

The exhibition is divided into distinct sections starting with young Lincoln’s America in the early 19th century. Covering the next 30 years, it also chronicles the spread of slavery into the western territories, the war to preserve the Union, the Emancipation Proclamation, the role of black soldiers in the Civil War and the final months of Lincoln’s life. Enhancing the exhibition will be a display of collections from Lawrence’s own Lincoln Reading Room.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Lawrence is sponsoring a series of public lectures, highlighted by an opening address by noted historian and author Ronald C. White, Jr.

Based on his best-selling 2002 book of the same name, White will present “Lincoln’s Greatest Speech,” Thursday, Jan. 22 at 4 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. A professor of American intellectual and religious history at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, White has drawn critical praise for his book, which takes Lincoln’s brief — it was only 701 words in length — second inaugural address of 1865 and places the remarks in historical context, demonstrating how Lincoln attempted to shape public sentiment through the power of eloquent and carefully calculated rhetoric.

In addition to White’s address, two other public lectures will be conducted during the exhibition’s stay. Lawrence University associate professor of history Jerald Podair will present “Back Door to Freedom: The Paradoxes of the Emancipation Proclamation” Feb. 3, 2004 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wriston auditorium. Lawrence assistant professor of English Faith Barrett will deliver the address “Drums Off the Phantom Battlement: American Poets and the Civil War,” Feb. 10, 2004 at 4 p.m. in the Wriston auditorium.

In collaboration with the Appleton Public Library, a series of book discussions, led by Lawrence faculty members, also will be held while the exhibition is here. The schedule includes: Jan. 28, James McPherson’s “Ordeal by Fire,” led by historian Rex Myers; Feb. 18, Harriet Jacobs’ “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” led by assistant professor of history Monica Rico; and March 10, Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” led by Susan Richards, director of the Lawrence library. All three programs will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Appleton Public Library’s lower level.

“We are certainly excited about the many opportunities the ‘Forever Free’ exhibit provides, both for our students and the community at large,” said Richards. “Through the format of a traveling exhibit, we are able to support teaching and learning in a way we typically haven’t done before while also enabling us to showcase some of the outstanding books and documents in our own Lincoln Reading Room.

“We hope that the topic itself, Abraham Lincoln’s own struggle to come to terms with the abolition of slavery, will entice interested members of the community to visit the Lawrence library, see this high-quality exhibit and hear some excellent speakers. It has been fun working with the Appleton Public Library on this project as well and we look forward to joining forces with them again to provide the Fox Cites with other unique opportunities like this in the future.”

The exhibition itself and all other lectures and events associated with it, are all free and open to the public.

The “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation” exhibition has been organized by the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif., and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York City, in cooperation with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The exhibition was been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, promoting excellence in the humanities.