June Symposium and Banquet

The learning and festivities begin on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 with the Benjamin P. Thomas Symposium at 10:00 a.m. in Springfield.  The Annual Birthday Banquet with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Jon Meacham, as keynote speaker begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by the Banquet at 7:00 p.m. at the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel in downtown Springfield.  The Symposium location in downtown Springfield will be announced soon.

Tickets at $95 for the Banquet may be reserved at this website.  The Symposium talks are free and open to the public.  Reservations are required for the Symposium lunch.  That cost is $35 and reservations can be made at this website.  Reservations can also be made for either the Symposium or Banquet or both by sending a reservation check to the Abraham Lincoln Association, P.O. Box 1865, Springfield, Illinois 62705. 

Print Registration Form for Banquet and Symposium and Mail your check  to:  ALA, P.O. Box 1865, Springfield, Illinois 62705

Banquet Speaker on June 21st in Springfield

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Jon Meacham

Mr. Meacham is widely known and highly respected for a large body of work and has partly finished a new study of Lincoln. Author of biographies of presidents Jefferson, Jack-son, and George H.W. Bush, he has also undertaken such broad topics as Franklin and Winston on the strategic World War II friendship, and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, plus examination of Jesus’ last words.

Benjamin P. Thomas Symposium Speakers, June 21, 2022, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Michael Burlingame Headshot

Lincoln’s Most Controversial Speech Reconsidered: August 14, 1862”

Michael Burlingame holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at University of Illinois Springfield, is the author of Abraham Lincoln: A Life, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln, and most recently, An American Marriage: The Untold Story of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd and The Black Man’s President: Abraham Lincoln, African Americans, and the Pursuit of Racial Equality, He has also edited many collections of Lincoln primary source materials. A graduate of Princeton University and Johns Hopkins University, he taught at Connecticut College in New London for many years before joining the faculty at University of Illinois Springfield in 2009. That year, The Atlantic rated Abraham Lincoln: A Life one of the five best books of the year, and in the New York Review of Books, the dean of Civil War historians, James McPherson, wrote that Burlingame “knows more about Lincoln than any other living person.”

Michael Burlingame Book Cover
James Oakes Headshot

Lincoln and Anti-Racism”

James Oakes, one of the leading historians of nineteenth-century America, has an international reputation for path-breaking scholarship. In a series of influential books and essays, he tackled the history of the United States from the Revolution through the Civil War. His early work focused on the South, examining slavery as an economic and social system that shaped Southern life. His pioneering books include The Ruling Race (1982; 2nd ed., 1998), Slavery and Freedom: An Interpretation of the Old South (1990), The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics (2007), and Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865 (2012). The latter two garnered, respectively, the 2008 and 2013 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, an annual award for the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln or the American Civil War era. His most recent book is The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution, published by W. W. Norton in 2021

James Oakes Book Cover

“Lincoln and Chase”
Walter Stahr worked in international law for two decades before turning to political biography, first with John Jay: Founding Father (2005). Then Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man (2012) and Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary (2017) both reached best-seller lists. Now Salmon P. Chase: Lincoln’s Vital Rival (Simon & Schuster, Nov. 2021) completes his spotlight on the three central figures of the Cabinet. Twice Mr. Stahr was given the Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography. He is making his second appearance at the ALA’s Symposium.

Walter Stahr Book Cover
Ronald C. White Headshot

Lincoln in Private”

Ronald C. White, Jr. is well-known to readers and listeners for his books on Grant, on Lincoln, and on Lincoln’s famed Second Inaugural.  Now in Lincoln in Private: What His Most Personal Reflections Tell Us About Our Greatest President (Penguin/Random House, 2021), he moves from the external to the internal influences upon the great man.  Lincoln wrote both short and long private reflections, not meant for publication or public use, as far as we know.  They reveal a new dimension of the man.

Ronald C. White Book Cover

Plan to stay for the all-author roundtable discussion.  Professor Michael Burlingame, ALA President, will lead the discussion.  Authors book signing will follow the Symposium.  Symposium downtown Springfield location to be announced.

Those needing a hotel room reservation are asked to make it early by calling the Abraham Lincoln Hotel at 217.544.8800 or at www.my-event.hilton.com/abrahamlincolnassociationbirthday/

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Jon Meacham

Mr. Meacham is widely known and highly respected for a large body of work and has partly finished a new study of Lincoln. Author of biographies of presidents Jefferson, Jack-son, and George H.W. Bush, he has also undertaken such broad topics as Franklin and Winston on the strategic World War II friendship, and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation, plus examination of Jesus’ last words.

His range impresses: A 2020 biography of John Lewis was his second book on a civil rights topic; and he is co-author with singer Tim McGraw of Songs of America. All this has garnered Mr. Meacham invitations to speak around the world. He was personally close to President and First Lady Barbara Bush, and gave a eulogy at each of their funerals.
His essays and reviews have appeared in all major print outlets, and he serves as a commentator on CNN and MSNBC. His most recent #1 New York Times Best Seller is The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels (2018), examining cur-rent political and social events by looking to critical times in our past when hope overcame division and fear. He co-authored the recently re-released book Impeachment: An American History, which reveals the diverse motives behind the first three impeachments in our nation’s history.

A native of Tennessee and a gradu-ate of The University of the South, Mr. Meacham is a distinguished visit-ing professor there and at other major universities in comparable roles.
Mr. Meacham spoke to the ALA banquet in 2007 while he was editor in chief of Newsweek. He thus joins such eminences as Doris Kearns Goodwin, Allen Guelzo, and Paul Simon in being asked to speak again at this podium.
Those needing a room reservation are asked to make it early by calling the hotel at 217.544. 8800, or my-event.hilton.com\abrahamlincolnassociation. To receive a discount, men-tion that you are attending the ALA events.

For more information, contact Kay Smith, ALA Executive Manager, at 217-546-2656, kaysmith.ala@gmail.com