George C. Rable to give second annual Williams Lecture on Lincoln and Civil War Studies

Contact: James Carskadon

George C. Rable (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A distinguished Alabama historian will give Mississippi State’s second annual Frank and Virginia Williams Lecture on Lincoln and Civil War Studies on Nov. 1.

George C. Rable, professor emeritus and former Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama, will give his lecture titled “Believer, Skeptic, or Something Else? The Elusive Mr. Lincoln” at 2 p.m. in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library. The event, sponsored by MSU Libraries, is free and open to the public.

Rable is an award-winning author and historian. His most recent book, “Damn Yankees! Demonization and Defiance in the Confederate South,” published by the Louisiana State University press in 2015, won the James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize. He is currently working on a book on the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan, who served as a major general for the Union in the Civil War. From 2004-2008, Rable served as president of the Society of Civil War Historians. In 2014, he was honored with an SEC Faculty Achievement Award.

The Williams Lecture on Lincoln and Civil War Studies was established in 2017 by former Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams and his wife, Virginia. The couple established the lecture series for the university community and others to have a chance to reflect on Lincoln and the Civil War by bringing leading scholars to campus.

In addition to the lectureship, the Williamses gifted their extraordinary private Lincoln and Civil War collection amassed over the past 50 years to the university. The Frank J. and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana boasts rare historical memorabilia; priceless artifacts; original, signed documents; ephemera; books published over a span of 150 years; and both original one-of-a-kind, and early mass-produced, artwork relating to Lincoln and the Civil War era.

The Williams Collection of Lincolniana, located next to the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, is now part of a state-of-the-art museum and gallery in Mitchell Memorial Library. The new exhibit space was unveiled with a grand opening last fall, and has since drawn thousands of visitors to the library. For more, see

For more on the 2018 Williams Lecture on Lincoln and Civil War Studies, visit Parking is available at Old Main Academic Center, where visitors can catch the Central Loop shuttle from Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit, which drops off at Mitchell Memorial Library.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at