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“Mourning Lincoln” 150 Years after His Death

Date: April 13, 2015
On Monday, April 13, historians Martha Hodes and Adam Goodheart discuss how Americans grieved, or celebrated, Lincoln’s assassination and how it shaped national politics.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, shocked the war-weary country as Americans publicly and privately grieved for their martyred President. On Monday, April 13 – the evening before the 150th anniversary of that tragedy– the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of History at Washington College will present noted Civil War historian Martha Hodes in an on-stage conversation with Starr Center director Adam Goodheart about Lincoln’s death and how the nation reacted. 

The program, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 5:00 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. A book signing and reception will follow. 

Hodes’s acclaimed new book, Mourning Lincoln, explores the reactions of ordinary people—Northerners and Southerners, soldiers and civilians—as they responded with sorrow, anger, fear, and even joy, to the tragic news of Lincoln’s murder. Their intense emotional response was shaped by a general apprehension about the future of a divided nation, newly won freedom for blacks, and the fate of the Confederate states. The New York Times praised Hodes’s book as “lyrical” and important,” describing it as  “a close and deeply disturbing study of how it seemed, to Americans who disagreed with one another, that ‘Lincoln’s assassination stopped the world.’” 

In a cover story for the April 2015 issue of National Geographic, Goodheart retraces the route of Lincoln’s funeral train, chronicling Americans’ reflections on Lincoln’s life and legacy both in 1865 and on the 150th anniversary of his death. Millions came to mourn Lincoln as his body made the 1,600-mile rail journey back to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. Free copies of the magazine will be available to the first 50 attendees at the Washington College event. 

Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University and a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Germany.  She is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, which was one of three finalists for the Lincoln Prize, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South, winner of the Allan Nevins Prize for Literary Distinction in the Writing of History. Adam Goodheart is the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College. He is a prize-winning historian, essayist, journalist, and the New York Times bestselling author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening. 


Last modified on Apr. 12th, 2015 at 12:41pm by Michael Buckley.