Lourdes University is pleased to announce its 2014 Distinguished Lectureship in American History & Culture, “The Reaction of Black Americans to Lincoln’s Death” on Thursday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in the Franciscan Center. Guest lecturer is Leonne M. Hudson, PhD, Associate Professor of History at Kent State University.

About Leonne M. Hudson:

Leonne M. Hudson is associate professor of history and the faculty advisor to Phi Alpha Theta at Kent State University. He received his B.A. at Voorhees College and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Kent State University. Dr. Hudson's specialty is 19th Century U.S. history, though he has also extensively researched the Mexican War and the Civil War era, particularly the military contributions of black troops to the Union effort. Currently, he has a research project in progress on the reaction of black soldiers to the death of Abraham Lincoln. His published works include: Company 'A' Corps of Engineers (U.S.A., 1846-1848) in the Mexican War, and The Odyssey of a Southerner: The Life and Times of Gustavus Woodson Smith.


About Hudson’s lecture:

When Abraham Lincoln was called by the angels to make his “sacrifice upon the altar of freedom” on April 15, 1865, the Union felt it had lost its most powerful and elegant voice. Lamentations of grief were said to have permeated every corner of the nation, including in the Black American community which was plunged into deep morning for the man whom they had come to admire as their Savior, friend, and protector. Many freedmen wondered aloud what would happen to them in the wake of Lincoln’s demise. The disillusionment of the former slaves was magnified with their belief that the government itself had died along with its president because the two of them were inextricably bound together.

Consumed with grief and sorrow, many in the Black American community believed that a return to slavery was a real possibility. The famous abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass eulogized the slain Civil War president a few days after his assassination. He said, “No people or class of people in the country have a better reason for lamenting the death of Abraham Lincoln, and for desiring to honor and perpetuate his memory, than have the colored people.” After a three-week long funeral, Abraham Lincoln the man who had saved the Union, championed freedom for African Americans, and made the ultimate sacrifice was laid to rest in Oak Ridge cemetery on May 4, 1865. After a journey through the Civil War and a 1,700-mile journey by train, Springfield’s most famous son was finally home.

This program is made possible, in part, by the Ohio Humanities Council with support by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, or of the Ohio Humanities Council.

Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dwayne Beggs, PhD, Assistant Professor of History, at 419-824-3648 or abeggs@lourdes.edu.