Friday, Sep 24, 2010
“Mary, Mary, we are elected.” With those words Abraham Lincoln announced to his wife that he had been elected the 16th President of the United States. This year, 2010, marks the 150th anniversary of that historic 1860 election. On September 17-18, approximately 75 people from Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and even Florida, gathered at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, in Lincoln City, Indiana, for the 25th annual Lincoln Colloquium. On Friday, September 17, local historian Bill Bartelt led the group on a bus tour of Lincoln related sites in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky. On Friday evening, the park hosted a reception and a band concert performed by the Red Bank Reunion Band, which played a selection of 19th century period music in tribute to Lincoln.
On Saturday, September 18, attendees were treated to talks by several distinguished historians in the Abraham Lincoln Hall of the park’s Memorial Visitor Center. Tim Townsend, park historian at Lincoln Home NHS, began the day with a retrospective look at the history of the colloquium, which originated at Lincoln Home. He was followed by Tim Good, superintendent of the Ulysses S. Grant NHS, who spoke on Lincoln’s nomination for president at the 1860 Republican convention. Bruce Chadwick, author of Lincoln for President, talked about Lincoln’s actual election and the ramifications of his remarkable victory. Brian Dirck, professor at Anderson University, closed out the day by addressing the topic of whether or not Lincoln’s election should be viewed as a success or a failure. All who attended the colloquium seemed quite pleased with the mix of activities offered and were very complimentary of the park staff.
The Colloquium is shared by five partner organizations: Lincoln Home NHS, the Lincoln Studies Unit at Knox College, the Chicago History Museum, the Indiana Historical Society, and, now, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, which joined the partnership in 2009. Lincoln Boyhood NM will again host the colloquium in 2015.