by Joseph E. Garrera

On March 6, 1978, a gathering of more than thirty students of the Lincoln theme participated in a special meeting in New York City. Their objective was the establishment of a local organization dedicated to studying the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. New York had not always been without an organization devoted to Lincoln studies. Seven decades earlier, on February 12, 1908, an organization known as “The Lincoln Fellowship” convened its first meeting in New York City, attended by many luminaries engaged in Lincoln studies. The Lincoln Fellowship of 1908 was so enormously rich with national talent that it selected seven distinguished scholars to serve as vice presidents. Among those selected were Ida Tarbell, Alexander McClure, Alonzo Rothchild, Joseph B. Oakleaf, Judge Daniel Fish, General James Grant Wilson, and Charles W. McLellan. Sadly, nothing is permanent, and the Lincoln Fellowship of 1908 was no exception. In less than a decade it faded out of sight. For far too long residents of New York and the tri-state area had to journey to Springfield, Illinois, nearly halfway across the country to hear and participate in Lincoln symposia. Now that was all about to change.

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