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‘Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War’ exhibit visits opens Feb. 6

Posted by isulib on January 31, 2014

reprinted from ISU Communications and Marketing

An exhibit examining President Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutional crisis during the Civil War will open at the Library on Feb. 6.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibit based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center, examines how President Lincoln used the Constitution to confront three intertwined crises of the Civil War-the secession of Southern states, slavery and wartime civil liberties.

Lincoln, the Constitution and the Civil War

Lincoln, the Constitution and the Civil War

Composed of informative panels, the display features photographic reproductions of original documents, including a draft of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. Guides, lesson plans and other resources for k-12 educators are available by contacting Cinda May, chair of Special Collections at 812-237-2534 .

The exhibit opening will be marked by a free public program held in the events area of the Library from 3-6 p.m. Feb. 6. David Gellman, professor of history at DePauw University, will discuss “Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War and Citizenship.”

His presentation will be followed by a performance of Indiana State’s Ebony Majestic Choir. A reception will follow the program and a walk-through tour of the exhibit, which will be on display through March 21.

Lincoln is widely acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents, but his historical reputation is contested. The exhibition encourages visitors to form their own view of Lincoln’s leadership by engaging them with the 16th president’s struggle to reconcile his policy preferences with basic American ideals of liberty and equality. Visitors develop a more complete understanding of Lincoln’s presidential role and the Civil War as the nation’s gravest constitutional crisis.

“As a new president, Abraham Lincoln was faced with enormous challenges,” said Cinda May, chair of Special Collections. “This exhibition shows how Lincoln struggled with issues of secession, slavery and civil liberties-all questions our country’s founding charter left unanswered.”

The public program and exhibit, sponsored by the Library and department of history, are free and open to the public. The National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the traveling exhibition, which was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo Credit: Exhibit image, National Constitution Center

Contact: Cinda May, Special Collections, Cunningham Memorial Library,

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing

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History professor publishes new book on the Civil War and Reconstruction

Posted by isulib on July 25, 2012

Reprinted from ISU News story

For many the Civil War conjures up images of generals and soldiers marching onto battlefields with poised muskets, the dull roar of cannons, and the smell of gunpowder. However, Richard Schneriov and John Jentz paint a different view of the impact the Civil War had on our country’s history against the canvas of Chicago during the mid-nineteenth century.

Bookjacket Image from

Bookjacket Image from

The book, “Chicago in the Age of Capital: Class ,Politics and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction,” argues that civil war’s impact extended beyond that of military conquests in the South to social, political and democratic change in the North.

Following the Civil War capitalism began to emerge as a dominant mode of production within the United States, Schneriov and Jentz argue. Second, the north underwent a revolutionary upheaval comparable to that of the one in the South, as newly formed social movements began to find their footing within U.S. politics. These movements had a profound impact on the nation’s democratic process. Third, within the U.S. class awareness began to emerge among the capitalist and labor classes and reshape politics.

Schneriov said the book was written mainly for other academics and graduate students but some advanced undergraduates may be interested in the book. “People who know a lot about the Civil War era and are interested in the issues of that era may want to read it to broaden their understanding,” Schneriov said. “A lot of people are interested in the military aspects of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This [the book] talks about the social, political and economic aspects.”

Research on the book began in 1986, two years after Schneriov received his Ph.D. at the Northern Illinois University. Schneriov said the authors placed the book on hold before picking it up again in 2004. Jentz and Schneriov worked together closely at the The Newberry Research Library in Chicago. The authors used data from old newspapers, raw census data and other published manuscripts and works at the time to compile a coherent story in support of their arguments.

Schneirov has published three other books, edited three collections, and is a member of the editorial boards of three journals. In 1998, Schneriov’s book “Labor and Urban Politics: Class Conflict and the Origins of Modern Liberalism in Chicago, 1864-97” [AVAILABLE IN THE ISU LIBRARY AT F 548.42 .S35 1998] was awarded the Urban History Association’s prize for Best Book in North American Urban History. Schneirov has taught history at Indiana State University since 1989.

Writer: Ernest Rollins, Indiana State University, media relations assistant, at 812-237-3773



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