Lincoln and the American Founding

January 17, 2018

7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Virginia Military Institute
Nichols Auditorium
Lexington, VA 24450

At 7:30pm on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, in VMI’s Nichols Auditorium, Professor Lucas Morel, a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, former president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, and Head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University, where he has taught for almost 20 years, will speak on “Lincoln and the American Founding.”

Dr. Morel will emphasize that the greatest influence on Abraham Lincoln’s politics and hence that which makes him the most iconic of American presidents is what he himself called “the spirit of ‘76.” To address the growing sectional crisis in antebellum America, Lincoln drew from the American founding--in particular, key figures like George Washington, but more importantly key documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, which enshrined principles like human equality, government by consent of the governed, and the rule of law. In doing so, he sought to recover the nation’s noblest ideals and most prudent practices to help Americans deal with slavery--“the great behemoth of danger.”

Dr. Lucas Morel holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University, and previously taught at John Brown University and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He also teaches in the Master’s Program in American History and Government at Ashland University in Ohio, in summer programs for the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy, and in high school teacher-institutes sponsored by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, the John M. Ashbrook Center, and the Liberty Fund. The author of "Lincoln’s Sacred Effort: Defining Religion’s Role in American Self-Government" and editor of "Lincoln and Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages," he is also editor of "Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to 'Invisible Man'” and co-editor of "The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century." He is currently completing a book on "Lincoln and the American Founding." A consultant on Library of Congress exhibits about Lincoln and the Civil War, Lucas was a member of the scholarly board of advisors for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and has recently been appointed to the prestigious U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission (“USA 250”), which will be planning activities to commemorate the founding of the United States. The 33-member body is comprised of 8 Members of Congress, 16 private citizens, and 9 federal officials.

This event, which is free and open to the public, is being sponsored by the Rockbridge Civil War Roundtable.