200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Herndon on Lincoln: Letters with Dr. Douglas Wilson

Sat Mar 12 13:00:00 2016

The Museum is pleased to welcome Dr. Douglas Wilson, author and co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, who will present a program about the written work of William Henry Herndon, one-time law partner and friend of Abraham Lincoln, on Saturday, March 12 at 1:00 p.m. This program will be held in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Wilson’s program will explore the editorial work that the Lincoln Studies Center has been engaged in for the last several years. The most recent example of this work can be found in the latest book Wilson co-edited with Dr. Rodney Davis, Herndon on Lincoln: Letters (2015).

Herndon probably knew Lincoln better than anyone else. In 1889 Herndon co-authored a biography of Lincoln, Herndon’s Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, which has been called the most influential of all Lincoln biographies. This biography was to be a faithful portrait of his friend and former law partner based on his own observations and the hundreds of letters and interviews he compiled from friends and associates of Lincoln. For a variety of reasons, however, much of what he had to say about Lincoln was not included. In Herndon on Lincoln: Letters, Wilson and Davis present a thorough collection of Herndon’s letters on Lincoln, identified and annotated, that supplements the large compilation of reminiscences of Lincoln that Herndon gathered from friends and associates. Many of Herndon’s letters are published in the book for the first time and, thus, may significantly add to our understanding of both Lincoln and the man who was his law partner for nearly twenty years. Wilson will speak to what can be learned from Herndon’s letters that is not found in the famous biography.

Wilson is currently George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and, with Dr. Rodney Davis, co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College in Galesburg, IL. He previously taught English and American literature at Knox. His collaboration with Dr. Davis, which began as a teaching partnership, has produced several works including Herndon’s Informants (1998), annotated transcriptions for the website of the Library of Congress’s Abraham Lincoln Papers (1999-2002), and new editions of Herndon’s Lincoln (2006), and The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (2008).

Copies of Herndon’s Lincoln: Letters will be available for purchase for $35.00 plus tax. A book signing will immediately follow the program. For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department via email at education@mchistory.org or by phone at 309-827-0428. Free parking will be available at the Lincoln Parking Deck located one block south of the Museum on Front Street.

Exhibit-related Program

Herndon on Lincoln: Letters with Dr. Douglas Wilson