Lincoln’s Constitution contributions

What:             Lincoln’s Constitution: The Gettysburg Address and Constitutional Interpretation

When:            Tuesday, 13 October 2009, 6:30 pm

Where:          Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ

CONTACT:   Valerie Haeder, 732-349-6200, ext. 5111



Lincoln’s Constitution: The Gettysburg Address and Constitutional Interpretation

TOMS RIVER – Two hundred years after Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the world is still talking about his legacy.  He is best known for preserving the Union during America’s Civil War and emancipating slaves.  But Lincoln’s impact on the United States as we know it goes far beyond that.

Please join the Ocean County Library Toms River Branch (101 Washington Street) on Tuesday, 13 October 2009 at 6:30 pm for an evening of entertainment and insight as we explore President Lincoln’s effect on the Constitution.

At Gettysburg, Lincoln tackled the nation’s unfinished business in extending liberties to more Americans.  Despite all the rights guaranteed in the Constitution, slavery—an institution expressly acknowledged in Article I—contradicts the freedoms people of today believe inherent to that document.  Shortly after the Civil War, three new amendments were added to the Constitution: Amendment 13 abolished slavery; Amendment 14 gave citizenship to anyone born in the country; and Amendment 15 allowed for greater suffrage.

Professor Paul G.E. Clemens, of Rutgers University, will discuss Lincoln’s contributions to those Constitutional changes as well as the power of his speech at Gettysburg.  How was the Constitution interpreted before the Civil War?  What did Lincoln say to change people’s understanding of the Constitution?  Lincoln’s legacy affected the United States government’s most important document, and we’ll learn why.

Following Professor Clemens’ remarks, Ms. Diane Lingsch will present “A Delicious Legacy: Lincoln’s Favorite Dishes”, a feast for the brain and the taste buds.  In this program, participants will learn about President Lincoln’s favorite foods as well as Civil War era fare that remains popular today.

This program is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

“Lincoln’s Constitution” is free and open to the public.  Please register by calling 732-349-6200 option 4, or visiting our website at


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