Abraham Lincoln 215th Birthday Event: Symposium & Banquet

Abraham Lincoln Portrait

February 17, 2024

The Abraham Lincoln Association invites you to help us mark the 215th birthday on Saturday, February 17, 2024.

The Benjamin P. Thomas Memorial Symposium, free to all listeners, and the Thomas F. Schwartz Luncheon, for $45.00, have an all-new line-up of 4 speakers for 2024. Note that those who do not pay for the luncheon may sit alongside to hear that talk.

Reservations are now being taken. Click or tap “Register Now” below. Or call Kay Smith at 217.546.2656

As before, all events will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel, at 7th and Adams in downtown Springfield. Please mention the ALA for the group rate if booking a room at:


Or call: 217.544.8800

2024 Banquet Keynote Speaker
2023 Banquet Speaker: Sidney Blumenthal


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Symposium Schedule

Coffee & Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

The cost of the luncheon is $45

James H. Read — 10:00 a.m.
Gordon Leidner — 10:45 a.m.

Luncheon — 11:30 a.m.

Elizabeth Leonard — 12:00 p.m.
George C. Rable — 1:15 p.m.

Roundtable, with Professor Michael Burlingame moderating — 2:15 – 3:00 p.m.

Book-Signing — 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
2024 Lincoln Symposium Speakers
James H. Read, author of Sovereign of a Free People

James H. Read

James H. Read is Professor of Political Science at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1988. His new book, his 4th, is Sovereign of a Free People: Abraham Lincoln, Majority Rule, and Slavery (2023). He lives in Avon, Minnesota, where he is also chair of the city’s Planning Commission.
Gordon Leidner, author of Lincoln and The Bible: A Complete Compendium
Gordon Leidner, author of Lincoln and The Bible: A Complete Compendium

Gordon Leidner

Gordon Leidner’s graduate studies centered in Leadership Theory at the University of Maryland, and he has written on Lincoln’s effectiveness as a transformational leader. In the new Abraham Lincoln and the Bible he continues to examine that leadership, focusing on how he was changed by the Bible and used scripture to in-spire the northern people to sacrifice to eliminate slavery.
Elizabeth Leonard, author of Benjamin Franklin Butler
Elizabeth Leonard, author of Benjamin Franklin Butler

Elizabeth Leonard

The Luncheon speaker, Elizabeth Leonard, taught at Colby College for 3 decades and previously published on Joseph Holt as Lincoln’s Judge Advocate General (Lincoln Prize co-winner, 2012). Her new book is a much-discussed revision of, and addition to, our knowledge about Gen. Benjamin Butler.
George C. Rable, author of Conflict of Command

George C. Rable

George C. Rable is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alabama. His seven books on the Civil War era include Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (Lincoln Prize, 2003). Among his many honors, he served as president of the Society of Civil War Historians in 2004-2008. He will address us on his 2023 book (LSU Press), Conflict of Command: George McClellan, Abraham Lincoln, and the Politics of War.