Lincoln expert gives eye opening insight on the former president
Published: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 22:09
Harold Holzer, renowned Lincoln and Civil War scholar, delivered a lecture Wednesday evening at the Dodd Research Center entitled “Lincoln, Leadership and Emancipation.”
Holzer is a nationally recognized Lincoln scholar, and currently serves as Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. He has received multiple awards from Lincoln groups, and was the primary script consultant during the filming of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.
The evening began with the presentation of the Alumni Association’s 2013 University Service Award by President Herbst to Dr. Myles Martel, a UConn Alumni and founder of the Myles Martel Lecture in Leadership and Public Opinion, of which the evening’s lecture was one in the series.
After the formalities, Jeremy Tietelbaum, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, introduced Mr. Holzer and the lecture began in earnest.
Over the course of the night, numerous topics were covered and discussed, ranging from Lincoln’s personal feelings on slavery, to the ways he felt it should be addressed in response to the outbreak of the Civil War.
Mr. Holzer presented a full historical analysis of the events both leading up to and following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which freed all slaves in the rebelling states.
Holzer’s speech was accompanied by a short slideshow in which he presented various incarnations of the document, including both the original, as well as various copies and artistic endeavors that have been based around it.
He also offered a brief analysis of the document itself, comparing it to other famous documents in our nation’s history, such as the Declaration of Independence, and explaining exactly why Lincoln chose to write it the way that he did.
“It’s a very dense document, and is written basically as a bill of law,” Mr. Holzer remarked on the writing style and word choice that Lincoln used, “There are no awe inspiring moments like you have in the Declaration.”
At the conclusion of the lecture, there was a short Q&A where Mr. Holzer offered to answer any questions about President Lincoln or the Civil War in general that the audience might have.
Paul Dineen, a first semester Political Science major was impressed with the lecture, “It was very educational. There were some really eye-opening facts here that often get looked over in the history books we read in school. Really glad I came out to see this.”