Historical Society talk focuses on emancipation

freedom posterWhat: Augusta County Historical Society program on Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation by Professor Holt Merchant
Where: R.R. Smith Center for History and Art (20 S. New Street, downtown Staunton)
When: Thursday, January 24, 7 p.m.
Cost: Free to ACHS members; $5 non-members; $1 non-member students
Information: For more information about the program, email augustachs@ntelos.net or call 540-248-4151.

The Augusta County Historical Society will continue its popular Stuart Series Talks with a special presentation on the Emancipation Proclamation by Dr. Holt Merchant, a professor of history at Washington & Lee University, on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Dr. Merchant will focus his remarks on Abraham Lincoln and emancipation and explain the factors that prevented Lincoln from attacking slavery at the beginning of the war. By 1862, changes had occurred that allowed him to change his focus. Dr. Merchant will cap off the program with a discussion of the preliminary and final Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

To learn more about emancipation and the evolution of the concept of freedom in the nation’s psyche, come to the ACHS program on Thursday at the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. Dr. Merchant earned his undergraduate degree in American history from Washington & Lee University and his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia. His particular research interests include George Washington; Robert E. Lee; sectionalism, secession, and the Civil War. He is currently working on a biography of Laurence Keitt, a South Carolina Congressman who served as a Confederate colonel and was a secessionist who died before the war ended.

The program is open to the public. There is no charge for historical society members. Non-members pay $5 and students pay $1.

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