Lincoln & the Legacy of Conflict Series
Martha Hodes, New York University
The news of Abraham Lincoln's death on April 15, 1865, just days after Union victory, astounded the war weary nation. Massive crowds turned out for services and ceremonies, and countless expressions of grief were printed in newspapers and preached in sermons. Public responses to the assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of northerners and southerners, Yankees and Confederates, African Americans and whites, soldiers and civilians, men and women, rich and poor, the well-known and the unknown. Exploring letters, diaries, and other personal writings penned during the spring and summer of 1865, Hodes tells a story of shock, glee, sorrow, anger, blame, and fear. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news. In her new book, Mourning Lincoln, Hodes brings to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the nation's first presidential assassination on a human scale.
Martha Hodes is Professor of History at New York University. In addition to Mourning Lincoln, she is the author of The Sea Captain’s Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century, and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex in the Nineteenth-Century South. She holds degrees from Bowdoin College, Harvard University, and Princeton University, and has been awarded fellowships from the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Whiting Foundation. She is a winner of NYU’s Golden Dozen Teaching Award and is an elected fellow of the Society of American Historians.
Lincoln and the Legacy of Conflict Series
The MHS will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of Pres. Abraham Lincoln with a series of programs. Renowned authors and historians will explore the war, the president, and the legacy this conflict has left. A Civil Conversation: James McPherson and Louis Masur on 26 March is the first program in the series. Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln with Richard Brookhiser on 1 April is program two. Mourning Lincoln with Martha Hodes on 8 April is program three. Mourning Lincoln & Racial Equality with John Stauffer on 15 April is the final program in the series.