Lincoln and His Contemporaries: Campaign Losses, Campaign Victories

Rooms allotted for this seminar have been filled. To join the waiting list, or register as a commuter, please contact the Assistant Director at 920-839-2216 or


A successful politician’s career has many an up and many a down, and Abraham Lincoln was no exception.  A run-through of his losses and wins in the 1830s, 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s – plus a look at some other key campaigns for context, in an era when one political party was collapsing and a new one was being born – will focus a spotlight on campaign tactics and rhetoric that earlier Bjorklunden classes on the Lincoln era have not tried.  No previous reading on Lincoln or the period is required, though veteran students will find many old and new ideas brought up, too.  One morning of this course will be co-taught with Terry Moran.

James Cornelius ‘81, a native of Minneapolis, is a graduate of Lawrence University and the University of Illinois (Ph.D. 2001).  For 11 years he worked in New York City for various book publishers, then for 8 years in the U. of I. Library’s collections of Lincoln and Illinois history.  He and Anne Smith (LU '81) married in 1992.  In 2007 he became Curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, in Springfield, Illinois, the nation’s most-visited presidential museum and home to huge numbers of Lincoln manuscripts, family possessions, published works, and fine or popular art.  He has published on architecture, baseball, literature, but mostly British and American history.  Most recently he co-authored Under Lincoln’s Hat: 100 Objects that Tell the Story of His Life and Legacy; edited and co-authored the museum's 48-page Official Commemorative Guide; and introduced Gettysburg Replies, a showcase of original short essays by 100 famous people, including all 5 living presidents, about Lincoln or a related current topic. This will be his 3rd Bjorklunden seminar.

Suggested Readings:Lincoln” by David Herbert Donald. "Lincoln in the Atlantic World" by Louise L. Stevenson. "Lincoln Runs for Congress" by Donald Wayne Riddle.


Sunday, July 30, 2017 to Friday, August 4, 2017
$840 double; $1,120 single; $415 commuter
Politics & History

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