Note: This event is sold out
William Henry Seward was one of the most important Americans of the nineteenth century: progressive governor of New York, outspoken federal senator, secretary of state during the Civil War and its aftermath, and a target of the assassins who killed Lincoln. Join us for an illuminating conversation about a complex and pivotal figure, Lincoln’s closest friend and adviser, and an early architect of America’s empire.
Celebrating the release of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the New-York Historical Society presents a screening of this monumental film followed by a conversation with screenwriter and playwright Tony Kushner and Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer.
Celebrate the 150th anniversary of this essential part of American history with a special reading from Author Tonya Bolden! Hear Tonya, author of Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, read from her new children’s book Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty. Tonya will also be doing a Q&A, and signing copies of her book.
Read Picture the Dead and then come to the Barbara K. Lipman Library for this special event. Author Adele Griffin will join us! Family participants will discuss the book, ask the author questions, and see related objects from the New-York Historical Society’s collection.
One of about thirteen manuscripts Lincoln signed in addition to the original, this copy belonged to Schuyler Colfax, House Speaker in 1863 and later Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant. According to Seth Kaller, president of Seth Kaller, Inc., who acquired the document for Mr. Rubenstein in a private transaction, and arranged its loan to New-York Historical, “this is the one that is directly traceable to a leader instrumental in the amendment’s passage. It has not been displayed in New York for more than forty years."
In the summer of 1863, in the simmering cauldron of New York City, tensions over the new Union draft law boiled over into a vicious, bloody, racially-motivated riot, the second-largest civil insurrection in American history after the Civil War itself. Experts examine the causes of the conflict, its sickening violence and the enduring legacy it left on New York.
Nearly a century and a half after it occurred, Union General William T. Sherman’s epic march from Atlanta to the sea remains one of the most astonishing military feats in American history — as well as one of the most controversial. Generations of Northerners have regarded it as a model of leadership, bravery and resolve. But many Southerners recall it as a brutal desecration of property and honor and judge Sherman as nothing less than a war criminal. What made Sherman march and how important was his triumphant move east in 1864?
For generations, Civil War military history has focused heavily on the land war, the big battles and on the heroes of the Union and Confederate armies. But the neglected story of the war’s landmark naval engagements, and its great naval heroes, ranks among the most compelling and dramatic in American history. Through both technology and old-fashioned gallantry, on oceans and rivers alike, at places like Hampton Roads, New Orleans, Mobile Bay and even Cherbourg, France, commanders like Farragut, Porter and Semmes changed the course of the war.
This program transports us to the 1963 centennial celebration of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to explore how Americans made sense of the suffering, loss and liberation that had wracked the United States a century earlier. David W. Blight and Drew Gilpin Faust discuss how four of America’s most incisive writers—including Robert Penn Warren, a white southerner who recanted his support for segregation, and James Baldwin, the searing African-American essayist and activist—explored the gulf between remembrance and reality.
The American Civil War was the largest non-British conflict ever fought by British men and women. Serving as soldiers, spies and nurses for both the Union and Confederacy, never again would so many risk their lives on behalf of a foreign cause. In this discussion, acclaimed historian Amanda Foreman, in conversation with Harold Holzer, takes the audience on a journey to the drawing rooms of London, the offices of Washington and the front lines of a divided America to examine Great Britain’s integral role in the Civil War.