By abolishing slavery, the Civil War settled one question only to raise a series of new ones. This seminar will explore the most deceptively simple of those questions: what did “freedom” mean to former slaveholders and the newly freed? How would freedom be defined, protected, and contested by both Northerners and Southerners? We will explore these questions through primary documents—letters, laws, and speeches—that demonstrate the multiple interpretations of freedom’s meaning. To complement our exploration of Lincoln’s opinions on slavery, our seminar also will include a tour of With Malice Towards None, an exhibition organized for the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth by the Library of Congress and on display at the Newberry Library.
Seminar led by Daniel Greene, Newberry Library and James R. Grossman, Newberry Library