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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior
School of Education



Join us June 23-27 or July 14-18, 2014

for a one-week Teacher’s Workshop:

Abraham Lincoln and the Forging of Modern America

Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture

Lincoln Head

We invite you to join us during the summer of 2014 for an extraordinary program on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and in Springfield, Illinois.

We will host 40 teachers in each of two, one-week workshops in which we will explore Abraham Lincoln’s life in Springfield and New Salem Village, Illinois, and the political and historical challenges he faced as President. Join us as we hear from outstanding Lincoln scholars drawn from universities in the St. Louis area.


Every nation, David Potter wrote, needs “cultural nourishment” that comes from both its folklore and its history. Abraham Lincoln, more than any figure in American history, provides us with that nourishment. He comes to us in folklore through fabulous tales and epic legends that depict his great physical strength, tender compassion, brooding wisdom, infinite patience, and great humility. The qualities of the legendary Lincoln combine fact and fiction into myth that transcends time, infusing America’s values with a vision of the “better angels of our nature.” Lincoln occupies a central place in American history and memory because of his accomplishments as President and because the issues with which he contended

involved the fundamental core of our democracy. We will consider the myths and realities of four themes central to this memory in our workshop.

  • Lincoln and American Nationalism. To more fully understand this theme, we will examine how historians have portrayed Lincoln over time. A starting point for this examination will be our reading from primary sources including Lincoln’s Message to Congress in Special Session (July 4, 1861), followed by selected sections from secondary sources: James McPherson’s Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, and Barry Schwartz’s Lincoln at the Millennium. Central to this examination is the question of how Lincoln used history, especially the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers, to develop his rhetorical defense of the Union and justification for action.
  • Lincoln and Power. The examination of this theme centers on the dilemma of how to fight a civil war and preserve civil liberties. Lincoln scholars will provide us with opportunities to discuss how Lincoln attempted to preserve the Union without sacrificing the Constitution. Our investigation begins with required reading of selections from David Donald's Lincoln and David Potter’s Jefferson Davis and the Political Factors in Confederate Defeat. We will probe critical issues such as suspension of habeas corpus, censorship of the press and declaration of martial law through reading Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.
  • Lincoln and Freedom. It has been argued that Lincoln changed the meaning of the Constitution. We will investigate this theme by first reading the Gettysburg Address and selected letters in which Lincoln describes his vision of equality. Then, we will analyze selections from Garry Wills’ 1992 The Words that Remade America, which suggests that the change went beyond the relationship between the federal government and the states to the relationship between the federal government and the individual. How might have Lincoln's words, "a new birth of freedom"2 suggest change in the vision of equality?
  • Lincoln and Race. We will examine the Emancipation Proclamation and the complex issue of race in America. Readings for this theme draw on selections from the Lincoln-Douglas debates, the Emancipation Proclamation and selected Lincoln letters, and readings from Lerone Bennet’s Was Abe Lincoln a White Supremacist? and Philip Shaw Paludan’s Emancipating the Republic: Lincoln and the Means and Ends of Antislavery. Much of Lincoln’s position of honor in American history rests upon his action to free the slaves. Yet, some view the proclamation as an empty gesture or even a conservative attempt to forestall more radical action.

Our discussions will provide us with an opportunity to explore the evolution of Lincoln's attitude toward emancipation that culminated in his support for the 13th Amendment. As we begin our discussion, we again turn our attention to selections from the 4th Lincoln-Douglas debate. Our investigation of race will be further illuminated by hearing the stories told by black women of their families and relatives during this period complemented by selections from the primary source material of Suzie King Taylor's 1902 Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33rd United States Colored Troops Late 1st S.C. Volunteers and Elizabeth Keckley's 1868 Behind the Scenes, Formerly a Slave, but More Recently a Modiste, and a Friend to Mrs. Lincoln.

Our Faculty


Our lecture discussion sessions begin with Lincoln scholars Stephen L. Hansen, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Iver Bernstein, Washington University at Saint Louis.

Dr. Hansen's first book, The Making of the Third Party System: Voters and Parties in Illinois, 1850 to 1876 (Ann Arbor: Research Press, 1980), is still considered essential today by scholars studying the Civil War Era. He is currently researching the social, demographic, and economic impact of the War on local communities.

Iver Bernstein, author of The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1990) is considered the definitive work on this major event in American history.

Also joining us from Washington University Saint Louis is Sowande Mustakeem, known for her scholarship of the histories of gender and slavery in the Americas and experiences preceding the Lincoln era. Dr. Mustakeem examines the history in one of her several articles including 'I Never Have Such A Sickly Ship Before': Diet, Disease, and Mortality in the 18th-Century Atlantic Slaving Voyages," in Journal of Afribcan American History 93 (Fall 2008): pp. 474-496.

Amy Wilkerson, will engage us in hands-on computer experience as we learn how to use this invaluable resource.

Jason Stacy, Historical Studies, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will present Walt Whitman and literature of the Lincoln period.

Ivy Cooper, Art Historian, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will discuss art of the Lincoln period using the Picturing America collection.

Helping us frame lessons for our K-12 students is Project Director Caroline R. Pryor, a professor of curriculum and social studies education at SIUE. Pryor's 2005 book, co-edited with A. Pearl, Democratic practices in education: Implications for teacher education (Rowman Littlefield, 2005) examines teachers' perspectives on democratic thought. The workshop week will culminate in the development of plans to use knowledge gained in the workshop to develop historically rich lessons for students.


old state capitalOur workshop will meet for a full five days, concluding at 4pm on Friday. The workshop will comprise 15 sessions: seven historical lectures and discussions, four historic site/museum sessions, and four pedagogical sessions. Hands-on experience with technology will be introduced in sessions on the SIUE campus with presenters from the Teaching with Primary Sources project. As an aid to investigating Lincoln and the four historical themes discussed above, you will be involved in interactive lecture sessions with our presenters. To prepare for these experiences, we will provide you with a complete bibliography of the required readings six weeks before the start of the workshop, many of which will be available in full-text in an on-line posting on our web-page.

Following a day of welcome, lectures, and discussions, we will travel together for a 2 day stay in Springfield, Illinois, described by Lincoln as his only real home. We will begin our visit in Springfield with a tour of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, renowned for its use of interactive technological exhibits as well as artifacts belonging to the Lincoln family. Next, we will visit the Lincoln home where staff will explain how social events helped to facilitate his political ambitions. Additional perspectives on his political base will be explored by visiting his law office.

During some independent time for exploration, you might want to visit the Old State Capitol across from his law office or the reconstructed train station, where Lincoln bid farewell to his neighbors and friends as he left to assume the Presidency. Springfield offers numerous sites central to the making of this great president. An optional Tuesday evening visit is planned to Lincoln's Tomb. Join us as we enjoy the shops and restaurants of downtown Springfield.

We journey the following day to explore Lincoln's early life in the town of New Salem Village where he grew to be a man. There, he clerked in a store, enlisted in the Blackhawk War, served as postmaster and deputy surveyor, studied law, and was elected to the legislature. We will see 24 reconstructed buildings (timber houses, shops, and stores) and numerous costumed interpreters who bring to life the village of Lincoln's day. Following our visit to New Salem Village, we will return to the SIUE campus for the final sessions of our workshop.

On our bus trip to Springfield, we will provide you with background information about the sites we will tour and discuss what aspects of each site might be a focus for the lessons you plan to develop for your students. On our return bus trip to Edwardsville, we will discuss what we might want to learn during the lectures, discussions and technology sessions planned for next two lincoln law officedays.


At the end of the week-long experience, you will be required to create one lesson plan concerning at least one of the historical themes of the workshop. The plan will include knowledge, resources and primary source documents learned and studied during the workshop that align with national standards for teaching history, social studies, and civics, applicable in your own classroom. We will share our ideas in a process of peer evaluation. After the workshop ends, you may send us your penultimate lesson which we will review and return to you. We encourage you to contribute these lessons to our workshop home page so that we may, with your written permission, disseminate them to other teachers across the nation.

Click these links to view


SIUE is home to Lovejoy Library, Teaching with Primary Sources Project and several computers labs located around campus. Our residence halls are also equipped with a technology lab and full Smart Classrooms. We will provide you with free access to computer facilities, including information about access to the Internet and email.


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is located on 2,660 acres of beautiful hills, and lakes. Just 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis with an excellent faculty and outstanding facilities, SIUE provides many exciting opportunities for its students and is a major academic institution in the region. Springfield, our landmark site, is located about 90 minutes northeast of campus.

Transportation from Lambert Airport in St. Louis to campus is available at approximately $60-$70 one way. Our optional facebook group will allow you to communicate with other participants for a shared ride.

Living units in the residence halls are one-bedroom suites sharing a common bath. If you are driving, we will provide you with a weekly parking pass at a $10 cost. All rooms are air-conditioned, with temperature control in each unit. Rooms are fully furnished and equipped with one telephone jack, data jacks providing free hook-up to the campus network, including the Internet, and expanded basic cable hook-up. All utilities are included in the cost of approximately $38.00 per person, per day, single occupancy. Approximate costs of nearby motel include the Day's Inn ($65 per day) plus tax. Dining facilities in the Memorial Union Center include the Center Court Food Court, The Den sports themed dining area, and local restaurants available by a short bus or cab ride. We will provide a no-cost shuttle to shops/restaurants on the days we hold the workshop at SIUE (Monday and Thursday nights).


lincoln tombAir-conditioned bus transportation will be provided for your round trip travel from SIUE to Springfield. In Springfield, you have the option to stay at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Hotel for $70 plus tax, a full service hotel within 2 blocks of the Lincoln Museum and Library in the heart of the downtown historic district.


For those participants wanting to come early or stay after our workshop, there are many activities in the region. SIUE is located in Edwardsville, IL, the third oldest city in the state. To the north of Edwardsville, along the Great River Road is Pere Marquette State Park ( with accommodations for housing in either its historic lodge and hotel or in nearby campgrounds. Many attractions are available to participants in the Edwardsville area. For specific information, please visit the city's website at

Edwardsville is located about 25 miles north east of downtown St. Louis. Besides the renowned Arch, the Missouri Botanical Garden and Forest Park, built to house the 1904 World's Fair, St. Louis offers a variety of cultural sites to visit.


Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, and ordinary living expenses. Stipends are taxable.

NEH Summer Scholars are required to attend all scheduled meetings and to engage fully as professionals in all project activities. Participants who do not complete the full tenure of the project will receive a reduced stipend.


Participants who might want graduate credit (History or Education) will be provided with an SIUE graduate tuition waiver for up to three units of graduate course credit for this workshop. University fees will still apply. To receive course credit and a grade, an additional series of three lesson plans will be required to be submitted to the project director, following workshop participation. Registration for this tuition waiver will be processed on campus during the workshop.


SIUE can provide you with documentation of your attendance and participation in this workshop.


The POSTMARK deadline for the application March 4, 2014.

2009 workshop

Application Checklist

A full application consists of application materials and an online cover sheet

Application Materials (U.S. Mail)

A completed application consists of three copies of the following collated items:

  • copy of the completed NEH online application cover sheet,
  • a résumé or short biography, and
  • an application essay (up to two double-spaced pages) as outlined below.

In addition, it must include one letter of recommendation as described below.

Application Cover Sheet (Online)


The application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:

Please follow prompts; be sure to indicate your first and second choices of workshop dates. Print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Finally, be sure to click on the "submit" button. A full application consists of the items listed above, as sent to the project director at SIUE.

Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your educational qualifications and professional experience.

Application Essay
The application essay should be up to two double-spaced pages. The essay should address your professional background; interest in the subject of the Workshop; special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the Workshop; and how the experience would enhance your teaching or school service.

Reference Letter
Each applicant should provide a letter of recommendation from his or her school principal, department head, district administrator, or home-schooling association president as appropriate. Please ask your referee to sign across the seal on the back of the envelope containing the letter. Enclose the letter with your application.

US Postal Mail your application packet materials to:

Dr. Caroline R. Pryor, Project Director, Associate Professor
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
PO Box 1122
Edwardsville, Il 62026-1122

Contact Information: or
Phone: 618-650-3439

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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