Diana Schaub, Professor of Political Science, Loyola University Maryland
Charles E. Test, M.D. '37 Distinguished Lectures Series
Lecture 1: Abraham Lincoln and the Daughters of Dred Scott
The definitive refutation of the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision was delivered by Abraham Lincoln in an 1857 speech exploring the meaning of the Declaration’s principle of human equality. The lecture will highlight just how daring and original Lincoln’s approach was. No other critic of the decision even mentioned the fact that Dred Scott had daughters who, like him, would be returned to slavery. Lincoln made the fate of those daughters the crux of his critique, as he confronted the dilemma posed by “the public estimate of the Negro.”
Lecture 2: Abraham Lincoln and the “Malignant Heart”
In his Second Inaugural, Lincoln called for Americans to act “with malice toward none.” “Malice” and related words like “malicious” and “malignant” were often used by Lincoln in reference to racial prejudice. This lecture will examine how Lincoln, through his rhetoric as president, sought to secure the future of the freed people, while navigating the obstacle of malicious objections and malignant hearts.
Lecture 3: Booker T. Washington and the Lessons of Lincoln
Rising to prominence during a time of terrible troubles for African Americans, Booker T. Washington devised a strategy and a way of speaking that could reach widely different audiences, separated geographically and racially. Prudence was essential. Washington’s circumspection, which became a source of power in his situation and furthered the difficult work of racial reconciliation, later had the paradoxical effect of making it harder for succeeding generations, accustomed to a more militant style of black leadership, to see Washington’s greatness. The lecture will examine how Washington invoked Lincoln to further his own redemptive moral vision and subtle statesmanship.