The historic West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) Museum in downtown Wheeling will host a lecture by Dr. Matthew Pinsker of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. entitled “Abraham Lincoln and the House Divided Era” on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 1:30 p.m. The program is presented by the West Virginia Humanities Council through the Distinguished Lectureship Program of the Organization of American Historians. The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.
Pinsker will focus on how President Lincoln, a southerner by birth and a northerner by outlook, attempted to use campaigns and elections as a means of reconciling a nation ripped apart by slavery. In an age when constitutional rules, whether over slavery, secession or even West Virginia statehood, seemed so contested and fluid, it was remarkable that Lincoln maintained that only the nation’s much maligned electoral process was the true fixed star of the American constitutional system.
Pinsker holds the Brian Pohanka Chair for Civil War History at Dickinson College. He is the author of Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldier’s Home (Oxford, 2003) and has served since 2006 as the Project Director for the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of the Underground Railroad workshops held each summer for kindergarten through 12th-grade educators.
In 2006, he was a Visiting Fellow at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Pinsker currently serves on the advisory boards of Ford’s Theatre; Lincoln Cottage; Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; and the National Civil War Museum. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and received his doctorate from the University of Oxford. From 2008 through 2010, Pinsker has been designated as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.
For more information about events at West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, contact Melissa Brown, site manager at WVIH, at (304) 238-1300.
West Virginia Independence Hall, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988 and is on the Civil War Discovery Trail, which links more than 500 sites in 28 states to inspire and to teach the story of the Civil War and its enduring impact on America. Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation, the museum in open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays, and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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