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Two-Day Conversations on Lincoln Event to Provide Insight into the 16th President

Posted
Mar 29, 2018

West Virginia Wesleyan College’s Department of History, the Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, and the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library are proud to co-sponsor the first “Conversations on Lincoln” to be held over two days on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2018. The proceedings, which are primarily student-organized, will feature a variety of speakers, re-enactments, exhibits, and entertainment events focused on the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Additionally, a keynote address by Dr. Michael E. Woods of Marshall University on Saturday will feature one of the region’s leading experts on Lincoln.

The “Conversations on Lincoln” will kick off on Friday, April 6 with Lincoln re-enactor Robert Brugler speaking to students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School. Later that morning, he will speak to a history course at West Virginia Wesleyan College before making his way to the Upshur County Public Library in Tennerton for a public presentation at 1:00 p.m. Brugler and his wife, Barbara, who portrays Mary Todd Lincoln, will make a variety of other presentations throughout the event.

Other highlights of the weekend include a log splitting contest, high tea and conversation with Mary Todd Lincoln, and a keynote address by Marshall University professor Dr. Michael E. Woods. Additionally, two white glove tours will be given of the Charles Aubrey Jones Hon. ’49 Abraham Lincoln collection, which is held in the Rare Book Room of the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library. Charles Aubrey Jones was a 1904 alumnus of West Virginia Wesleyan and began collecting Lincoln artifacts, books, manuscripts, and ephemera after becoming acquainted with Colonel Osborn S. Oldroyd. Oldroyd was largely responsible for the preservation of the Petersen House in Washington, D.C., which is the home where Lincoln died. Oldroyd was also a prodigious Lincoln collector, which sparked Jones’s interest.

The Jones Lincoln collection was believed to be the largest collection of Lincoln materials in Ohio, and the third largest east of the Mississippi River at the time it came to Wesleyan in 1971. The collection was officially donated to the College in 1985 as a gift of Charles Aubrey Jones’s daughter, Elizabeth “Betty” Jones. In recent years, the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library has attempted to increase usage of the collection for scholarship, educational purposes, and community outreach.

This effort was forged by students William Wasson, a senior from Martinsburg; Kathryne Newton, a junior from Buckhannon, WV; Madison Lapole, a junior from Inwood, WV; and Annie Fleming ’17 from Beverly, WV. Kevin Spear ’76, Board of Trustees member and longtime Lincoln fan, helped initiate this event, as well as impromptu Lincoln lectures on campus. Spear hopes to see one Lincoln-centered event every year.

The full schedule of events is below:

Friday, April 6

8:00 a.m. – Abraham Lincoln (reenactor) speaks at Buckhannon-Upshur High School (for high school students only; not open to the public)

Location: Buckhannon-Upshur High School

10:00 a.m. – Speaker: Joie Johnston – “The Supreme Court during the Civil War”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon – White glove tour of the Charles Aubrey Jones Abraham Lincoln Collection

Location: Rare Book Room – 2nd floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

1:00 p.m. – Abraham Lincoln (reenactor) – “Growing up to be President” with 4th and 5th grade students of Tennerton Elementary School (event is open to the public)

Location: Upshur County Public Library; Route 20 South, Tennerton

5:00 p.m. – High Tea and Reflections on Life in the White House with Mary Todd Lincoln (reenactor)

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

5:30 p.m. – Log Splitting Contest

Location: In front of the Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

5:30 p.m. – Abraham Lincoln (reenactor) makes a public speech

Location: Outside French A. See Dining Center, Benedum Campus Center, WVWC

6:30 p.m. – Speaker: Burrus Carnahan – “Emancipation as a weapon of war: the international roots of Lincoln’s Proclamation”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

Saturday, April 7

9:30 a.m. – Welcome and Opening Remarks by Kevin Spear (WVWC Trustee and Lincoln Collector)

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

10:00 a.m. – Speaker: Stephen Wilson – “Abraham Lincoln and Technology”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

11:00 a.m. – Speaker: Dick Crews – “Abraham Lincoln the Radical”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)

1:30 p.m. – Speaker: Wendy Allen – “A thirty-five year career painting Abraham Lincoln”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

2:00 p.m. – Speaker: Beth Wasson – “Abraham Lincoln and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

2:30 p.m. – Speaker: David Kent – “Lincoln is for everyone, not just historians”

Location: Upshur Reading Room – 1st floor; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

3:00 p.m. – Break

3:30 p.m. – Abraham Lincoln (reenactor) recites from his great speeches

Location: L.L. Loar Hall – Auditorium (1st floor)

4:30 p.m. – Keynote Address

Dr. Michael E. Woods – Associate Professor of History at Marshall University (WV)

Location: L.L. Loar Hall – Auditorium (1st floor)

5:30 p.m. (or at conclusion of keynote address) – White glove tour/exhibit of the Charles Aubrey Jones Abraham Lincoln Collection

Location: Rare Book Room; Annie Merner Pfeiffer Library, WVWC

All events (except those noted) are free and open to the public. Any history enthusiasts, students, and fans of Abraham Lincoln are encouraged to attend any or all public events. For more information, please contact Will Wasson at wasson_wa@wvwc.edu.