Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation funds five more projects with latest grants (September 11, 2013)


         (September 11, 2013)—The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation announced today that it has sent funding awards to support five Lincoln-related projects around the country.  The funding will help organizations in Ohio, New York, Illinois, and the nation’s capital finance a range of undertakings, from public and educational programming to the restoration and interpretation of a unique Lincoln relic.  The ALBF also announced that it would co-sponsor a public history event on “Lincoln and the Constitution” at HistoryMiami in Florida, on Saturday, January 25, 2014.

“The ALBF remains committed to identifying and backing projects that keep the Lincoln story alive and well, and in the forefront of the ongoing national observances of the Civil War sesquicentennial,” commented Foundation Chairman Harold Holzer.  “We believe this latest round of grants achieves this goal, and we continue to hope that institutions and organizations around the country come to us with proposals in the future.  Our goal is simple and, we think, achievable: to help educate and enlighten as many people as possible about Abraham Lincoln’s unparalleled contributions to a democracy that continues, as Lincoln himself once put it, “to light the world.”

The Board convened for its most recent meeting on June 25, and sent its grant awards at the end of September.  Recipients of the latest round of funding are:

  • The Springfield (Illinois) Art Association—$2,500 to support professional conservation of the ca. 1835 “courting couch” on which Abraham Lincoln likely proposed to Mary Todd when the sofa stood in the home of Ninian and Elizabeth Edwards (Mary’s sister and brother-in-law) in Springfield.  The grant will not only help conserve the relic—a silent witness to the couple’s courtship and wedding ceremony—but also develop interpretive materials.
  • The Elijah Iles House Foundation, Springfield, Illinois—$1,500 to fund “The Fiery Trial: Civil War Stories by Candlelight,” a public event on September 28, 2013 to explore the impact of emancipation on Lincoln’s hometown community, with an emphasis on local sites crucial to the Lincoln story: the Lincoln Home, Edwards home, Elijah Iles Historic House, Lincoln Tomb, and Illinois State Military Museum.
  • The Shoreham-Wading River High School, Long Island, New York—$5,500 to support an October 2014  “Living Lincoln Symposium” featuring major Lincoln scholars, for some 300 local 11th-grade high school students, teachers, and members of local historical institutions.
  • Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.—$5,000 to help support a history symposium at the school’s sesquicentennial celebration in April 2014, focusing on Lincoln’s role in the founding of this renowned university for hearing-impaired students.
  • Gallia County Emancipation Celebration Committee, Gallipolis, Ohio—$3,000 to sustain the latest of this county’s annual emancipation commemorations, which date back to 1863, and will this year feature history speakers and a presentation of U.S. Colored Troops re-enactors on the anniversary of the preliminary proclamation, at the Bob Evans Farms in Rio Grande, Ohio, on September 22.

The Foundation Board meets next on January 26, 2014.  The day before, on January 25, the ALBF will co-sponsor, along with the Florida International University Law School, a HistoryMiami conference on “Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution.”  The keynote speaker will be Professor Emeritus James M. McPherson of Princeton University,  author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, Battle Cry of Freedom. A panel made up of Lincoln experts from the Foundation Board as well as law professors from FIU.  The conference, from 2-4:30 PM, is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception.

HistoryMiami will co-sponsor the event, the third annual Lincoln symposium the institution has co-hosted with the ALBF.  Additional funding is provided by Foundation Board Member Jean Powers Soman and her husband William Soman.

Members of the ALBF Board are: Harold Holzer of Rye, New York (Chairman); Orville Vernon Burton of Ninety-Six, South Carolina (Vice Chairman), Thomas Campbell of Chicago, Illinois (Treasurer); Hon. Charles Scholz of Quincy, Illinois (Secretary); and Darrel Bigham of Evansville, Indiana; David Lawrence of Coral Gables, Florida; Antonio Mora of Coral Gables, Florida; Jean Powers Soman of Pinecrest, Florida; and Hon. Frank J. Williams of Hope Valley, Rhode Island.

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