President Lincoln Finds a Permanent Seat on Campus: The Dedication of the New Abraham Lincoln Statue Outside Stevens Hall

By Jeff Lauck ’18 

Students, faculty, and visitors to Gettysburg College have likely noticed the most recent addition to our campus. Last Friday, a brand new bronze statue of President Abraham Lincoln was dedicated outside Stevens Hall. The statue, which stands nine feet tall, depicts a seated President Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation and was designed by Stanley Watts, who also designed the Lincoln statue outside the Gettysburg Public Library on Baltimore Street. The statue unveiling comes almost 153 years to the day when President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which gave the Confederate States 100 days to return to the Union before emancipation would become law.

The statue dedication was preceded by a luncheon and panel discussion on the significance and legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation. Dr. Michael Birkner moderated the panel, which featured Dr. Scott Hancock, Dr. Jill Ogline Titus, and Dr. Peter S. Carmichael. Dr. Carmichael began the discussion by explaining the context for the Emancipation Proclamation. According to Dr. Carmichael, as the war carried on, Lincoln realized that slavery was severely undermining the Union war effort and that emancipation was therefore a necessary tool to achieve victory. On September 22, 1862, a few days after the Union victory at Antietam, he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Upon issuing the final document on January 1, 1863, Lincoln declared: “I never, in my life, have felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper.” Continue reading “President Lincoln Finds a Permanent Seat on Campus: The Dedication of the New Abraham Lincoln Statue Outside Stevens Hall”

Event Review – Rebelling for the Promise of Revolution: Black Emancipation and the Civil War

Emily Weinick, ’13 On Saturday, September 22, at the Visitor???s Center in Gettysburg???s National Military park, Professor Scott Hancock delivered his lecture ???Rebelling for the Promise of Revolution: Black Emancipation and the Civil War???. Engaging t…

By Emily Weinick ’13

On Saturday, September 22, at the Visitor’s Center in Gettysburg’s National Military park, Professor Scott Hancock delivered his lecture “Rebelling for the Promise of Revolution: Black Emancipation and the Civil War”. Engaging the audience in critical thought, Hancock provided an alternative view of Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, and rebellion during the Civil War. The challenging nature of his lecture was not limited in scope; rather it blew open the doors for a whole new take on the events that encompassed the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln is traditionally interpreted as a hero: he was the morally elevated president who could see the wrongs of slavery before his contemporaries could. But what Hancock emphasized is the fact that the Emancipation Proclamation was more of a military necessity to Lincoln than a moral one. Lincoln needed to consider the politics of the war, the dichotomy of the North and South, and keeping the constitution intact. While he believed slavery was wrong, his primary goal was to preserve the Union and end the war. Hancock termed the false grandeur enshrouding the Emancipation Proclamation a “translucent sheen of glory”. While the content of the proclamation declares emancipation for the slaves, this is a superficial view; it was no gift to the African Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation was essential for the military success of the Union and ultimately created for the protection of a white man’s world. Continue reading “Event Review – Rebelling for the Promise of Revolution: Black Emancipation and the Civil War”

Event Review: Forever Free An Evening with Allen Guelzo and James McPherson

By Michele B. Seabrook, ’14 On September 21 at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Gettysburg, PA, as part of a series of events in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Dr. Peter Carmichael, director of the Gettysburg Coll…

By Michele B. Seabrook ’14

On September 21 at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Gettysburg, PA, as part of a series of events in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Dr. Peter Carmichael, director of the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute, moderated “Forever Free: An Evening with Dr. James McPherson and Dr. Allen Guelzo.” The evening was formatted as a discussion focused around the Emancipation Proclamation and the events and personalities surrounding its drafting, passage, and impact on the nation.

Continue reading “Event Review: Forever Free An Evening with Allen Guelzo and James McPherson”