Maine and the Civil War series continues
Camden — The speakers for the coming week for the Maine and the Civil War series at Camden Public Library will include Maine State Archivist Dave Cheever presenting the tale, “One Month: How Maine Prepared for Civil War” on Tuesday, Aug. 19, at 7 p.m., and Dr. Erin Bishop, director of Maine Archives & Museums, on Lincoln: Evolution of a President Thursday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m.
Bishop is the keynote speaker to accompany the traveling exhibit, “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” which is on display at the library through Sept. 4. Bishop’s talk will mark the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with an engaging one-hour session exploring Lincoln, the man, and the myth. From humble beginnings to the national stage, Lincoln’s views on slavery, race, and how best to preserve the union were constantly evolving. His early years as a laborer and a lawyer in frontier America, and the relationships he formed there, shaped his policies in Washington and prepared him to lead a nation through its darkest hours. The presentation provides a look at Lincoln and his early life that very few people are ever exposed to, including some personal letters.
“How he was raised and his early life really have an impact on his views on slavery and emancipation, which sort of culminate in his presidency,” Bishop said in a news release. Bishop is the former education director of the Lincoln Library and Museum in Illinois. Her presentation is Aug. 21.
Cheever, who will speak Aug. 19, is an entertaining and enthusiastic speaker, and having the resources of the Maine State Archives at hand, he has many stories to tell. The stories begin with the results in the federal election of 1860, when all of the state’s electoral votes were won by Abraham Lincoln and his vice presidential running mate, Maine’s Hannibal Hamlin.
“The voting here and across the country led to the secession of South Carolina and its sister states in the South. Maine sentiment against slavery and against secession fueled the response here following the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, in April of 1861,” Cheever said.
The remaining events in the Civil War Series will include author Jerry Desmond on How Maine Saved the Union, Saturday, Aug. 23, at 2 p.m.; the 20th Maine Company B living history re-enactors on the weekend of Aug. 23; Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth on Aug. 26, reviewing the Civil War through vintage photographs; and Dr. Richard Kahn and his collection of 19th century medical paraphernalia speaking on Civil War medicine on Aug. 28.