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"Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War" Events
October 10 – November 28, 2012


Abraham Lincoln was confronted with enormous challenges when he was elected president in 1860. The nation was on the brink of Civil War, and Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties—all questions our country's founding charter left unanswered.

President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront these three intertwined crises of war, ultimately reinventing the Constitution and the promise of American life. This exhibition develops a more complete understanding of Abraham Lincoln as president and the Civil War as the nation's gravest constitutional crisis.

Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil War, a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Lincoln: the Constitution and the Civil Waris based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.


October 17

"John Stuart Mill, Slavery, and the Civil War"
Steve Macias, Constitutional Law Professor, SIU School of Law

Macias Video

"Was Abraham Lincoln Justified in Suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus?"
John Upton, Director of History Programs, Illinois Supreme Court
Historic Preservation Commission

Lupton Video


October 22

"Free Speech or Treasonous Talk?
Civilian arrests in southern Illinois during the Civil War"

Mike Jones, John A. Logan Museum Director
Doug Lind, Professor of Law, SIU School of Law

Lind Video

Lincoln’s Suspension of Habeas Corpus: The Pamphlet Literature and Congressional Debate


October 31

Discussion of State of Illinois v. Illinois Central Railroad,
the case Abraham Lincoln handled before the Illinois Supreme
Court in Mt. Vernon in November of 1859.

John J. Flood
Clerk, Illinois Appellate Court, 5th District

Jack Flood

Read the Dean's blog about this event


November 8

"Abraham Lincoln and Wartime Civil Liberties"
Brian Andreasen, Research Historian
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum


The SIU Law Library’s Rare Book Room holds items that are related to Lincoln’s Law Practice and Lincoln’s Assassination.  Read more here.      


Exhibit Funded by

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Exhibit Presented by

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