Carthage College, The Lincoln Forum, The Civil War Museum, and The Lincoln Presidential Foundation are proud to present the third annual Lincoln Symposium Thursday, April 25 through Friday, April 26.  

This event is in partnership with The Lincoln Forum, The Lincoln Presidential Foundation, and the Kenosha Civil War Museum.  It is free for the public, students, faculty, and staff to attend!

Register to attend

Questions? Please reach out to Dana Kroll, Executive Assistant to the President, at or 262-551-5706.

schedule of events

Thursday, April 25

5:00pm Reception and Exhibit Galleries open. View the historic Palumbo Collection on loan from Carthage College to the Civil War Museum
Kenosha Civil War Museum

6:30pm Dinner

Keynote Speaker: James Oakes: Dueling Constitutions: William Lloyd Garrison vs. Frederick Douglass
Kenosha Civil War Museum


Friday, April 26

Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium

Frank Williams: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties: Then and Now

9:15a.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium

Jennifer Murray: “Your Golden Opportunity is Gone”: An Examination of Meade and Lincoln’s Relationship

10:30 a.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium

Noon, Campbell Student Union, Living Room

Harold Holzer: Abraham Lincoln, Carl Schurz of Wisconsin, and the Civil War Immigration Revolution

1:35 p.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium

Edward Achorn: “Abraham Lincoln, the Nominee No One Expected”

2:50 p.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium


Meet the Speakers

Keynote Speaker: James Oakes

James Oakes is the author of several books on slavery, antislavery, and emancipation in the United States. His most recent book is “The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution.”

Frank Williams

Frank J. Williams is the founding chairman of the Lincoln Forum, is the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. He has been a leader in the Lincoln community for 30 years, first as president of both the Lincoln Group of Boston and the Abraham Lincoln Association. In addition, he is a major collector of Lincolniana, a peripatetic lecturer before Lincoln and Civil War groups, and a scholar whose books include, with Edna Greene Medford and Harold Holzer, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views(Louisiana State University Press, 2006). His latest book, Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America’s Greatest Leader, with William D. Pederson, was published by Southern Illinois University Press. He was a member of the U.S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Chair of the Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He serves as Literary Editor of the Lincoln Herald , His book, Judging Lincoln , is a collection of his lectures and essays was published by Southern Illinois University Press. He resides in Hope Valley, Rhode Island. On December 30, 2003, the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Defense, invited Chief Justice Williams to be a member of the then Military Commissions Review Panel for tribunals to be held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, with the rank of Major General. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 created the Court of Military Commission Review on which Williams served as Chief Justice from November 21, 2007 to December 23, 2009.

He is one of America’s 500 leading judges (out of 30,000) listed in Lawdragon.

Jennifer Murray

Dr. Jennifer M. Murray is a military historian, with a specialization in the American Civil War, in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. She is the author of On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013 , published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014, with a second edition that includes a new preface released in June 2023. Murray is also the author of The Civil War Begins , published by the U.S. Army’s Center of Military History in 2012. Dr. Murray is currently working on a full-length biography of George Meade, tentatively titled Meade at War: The Military Life of George Gordon Meade . This is a comprehensive treatment of Meade’s life, with a focus on his military career in the Army of the Potomac. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming, “They Are Dead, And Yet They Live”: Civil War Memories in a Polarized America , published with the University of Nebraska Press. Murray is a veteran faculty member at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute and a coveted speaker at Civil War symposiums and roundtables. In addition to delivering hundreds of Civil War battlefield tours, Murray has led World War I and World War II study abroad trips to Europe. Murray worked as a National Park Service seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park for nine summers (2002-2010).

Harold Holzer

Harold Holzer is the Jonathan F. Fanton Director of The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York, a post he assumed in 2015 after 23 years as Senior Vice President of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For ten years (2000-2010), Holzer also served as Co-Chairman of the U. S. Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed by President Clinton, and for the six years following as Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. In 2008, Holzer was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush. In 2013, he wrote the Lincoln essay in the official program for the re-inauguration of President Obama. He served as Chairman of The Lincoln Forum.

Holzer is the author, co-author, or editor of 56 books on Lincoln and the Civil War. His Lincoln and the Power of the Presswon the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, as well as awards from the Harvard Kennedy School and the Columbia School of Journalism. His latest book is Brought Forth on this Continent: Abraham Lincoln and American Immigration(February 2024).

Holzer’s 2012 Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America was the official young-adult companion book for the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln , for which Holzer served as script consultant. He also served three years as the Roger Hertog Fellow at the New-York Historical Society. In 2017, Holzer was awarded the NY State Archives & History Award. He served that year as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Yeshiva University, and in 2020 taught at Cardozo Law School in New York. He has also taught at his home base, Hunter College, where he edited the school’s sesquicentennial book: Hunter150 .

In 2021, Holzer was principal consultant and on-air commentator for the six-part CNN documentary series, Lincoln: Divided We Stand , which attracted an average of 1.3 million visitors per episode. He also appeared in the 2022 History Channel miniseries, Abraham Lincoln . Holzer has written more than 650 articles and reviews for both scholarly journals and popular magazines, published 17 monographs, and contributed chapters or prefaces to 67 additional volumes.

Among his other awards are a second-place Lincoln Prize in 2005 for Lincoln at Cooper Union ; book prizes from the New England Society, Freedom Foundation, Manuscript Society of America, Civil War Round Table of New York, and Illinois State Historical Society; and lifetime achievement awards from the Lincoln Groups of New York, Washington, Peekskill, Kansas City, and Detroit. He has earned honorary degrees from nine colleges and universities. Holzer is a member of many history boards and advisory committees and in 1995 was co-founder of The Lincoln Forum. He served from 2015-22 as a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Edward Achorn

Edward Achorn is the author of four critically acclaimed books about American history. His latest book, The Lincoln Miracle: Inside the Republican Convention That Changed History, won the Harold Holzer Lincoln Forum Book Prize for the year’s best book about Abraham Lincoln. His previous book, Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln , was cited as one of the Best Books of 2020 by the Economist magazine. He is also the author of the classic baseball history books The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84. You can reach him at his website,

A journalist for 41 years, he is the former Vice President and Editorial Pages Editor of The Providence Journal. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Commentary and won the Yankee Quill Award for distinguished lifetime service to journalism. He lives in an 1820s farmhouse in Rehoboth, Mass.


Watch videos from Last year’s event

See photos from last year’s event

The Lincoln Forum logo The Carthage College Lincoln Symposium is co-sponsored by The Lincoln Forum