From a soldier’s diary with the pencil still attached to John Brown’s pike, the Emancipation Proclamation, a Confederate Palmetto flag, and the leaves from Abraham Lincoln’s bier, Harold Holzer and Eric Foner provide a unique and intimate look at the Civil War through the New- York Historical Society’s renowned collection.
In July 1863, Union and Confederate troops met in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and in three days forever changed the course of American history. Three of America’s most renowned Civil War historians discuss one of the bloodiest and most haunting battles of the American Civil War.
William Henry Seward was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century: progressive governor of New York, outspoken federal senator, secretary of state during the Civil War and its aftermath, and a target of the assassins who killed Lincoln. Join us for an illuminating conversation about a complex and pivotal figure, Lincoln’s closest friend and adviser, and an early architect of America’s empire.
Celebrating the release of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the New-York Historical Society presents a screening of this monumental film followed by a conversation with screenwriter and playwright Tony Kushner and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Join us for an evening commemorating President Lincoln and those who led the courageous fight to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, a copy of which is currently on display at the New-York Historical Society.
Under the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Union Army began recruiting so-called “colored” troops for the first time—and the mere fact that they donned military uniforms, bore arms and fought in battle revolutionized the status of African-Americans, even as it stirred intolerance in many Northern cities. This panel will explore the contributions, sacrifices and challenges faced by the Union’s extraordinary black fighting force, including the drama of Fort Wagner and the national shame of unequal pay.
In the pantheon of American Presidents, only George Washington can rival Abraham Lincoln for impact, influence and a continued relevance in the American imagination. Four historians consider Lincoln’s most dramatic legacy: the Emancipation Proclamation. This seminal document has been used by those who wish to hail him as the Great Emancipator and by those who wish to pillory him because they consider his once radical effort at emancipation insufficient.
In the second program in this two-part series, three distinguished Civil War historians continue to explore the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War battle that has horrified and captivated the nation since it was fought nearly 150 years ago.
The naval side of the Civil War was far more than a picturesque battle over vast oceans. Rather, it was a gritty fight involving deadly new technologies, focused primarily on the nation’s rivers — particularly the “Father of Waters,” as Lincoln called the crucial Mississippi. Now two of the nation’s leading military historians — each with a new book on the Civil War navies — re-examine the “inland” war for the divided nation’s waters.
One president was a West Point-trained Mexican War veteran and a former Secretary of War. The other had virtually no military training except in a bloodless Indian war, yet emerged as the far greater commander-in-chief during the Civil War. Why the experienced Jefferson Davis faltered, while the untested Abraham Lincoln triumphed, remains one of the great mysteries of American history — as explored by this expert panel.