In connection with the traveling exhibit "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," Mississippi State University Libraries is sponsoring two speakers beginning next week.
The Honorable Frank J. Williams will present "Justice: Comparing President Abraham Lincoln and Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney" on Monday [April 21] at 10 a.m. in the John Grisham Room at Mitchell Memorial Library with a reception to follow.
Stephen Middleton, professor and director of African American studies, will speak on "Abraham Lincoln, the Constitution, and the Preservation of the Union" on May 5 at 3 p.m. in the same location, also with a reception following.
"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War," a traveling exhibition which opened at Mitchell Memorial Library earlier this month and will be on display through May 16, examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War--the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.
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. Visit http://library.msstate.edu for more information.
Williams is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. A graduate of Boston University Law School, and a longtime jurist in the Rhode Island court system, he also is a veteran of the United States Army, having served three years in Germany and one year in Vietnam.
Williams is one of the country's most renowned experts on Abraham Lincoln, having authored or edited over 14 books, including "The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views," with Edna Greene Medford and Harold Holzer, and "Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leaders," with William D. Pederson, which includes a chapter by John F. Marszalek, Grant Association executive director.
Since 1996, Chief Justice Williams has served as founding chairman of The Lincoln Forum, a national assembly of Lincoln and Civil War devotees. For nine years, he served as president of the Abraham Lincoln Association and, for 14 years, as president of The Lincoln Group of Boston. He also is the long-standing president of the Ulysses S. Grant Association.
Middleton is a historian specializing in the constitutional and legal development of the United States. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Morris College in Sumter, where he graduated cum laude, a master's degree from The Ohio State University, and a doctorate from Miami University (Ohio). Currently, he is the MSU director of African American Studies and professor of history.
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: great ideas brought to life. The exhibition is based on another of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.