The Department of History and the History Club at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is pleased to announce that on Thursday, November 5, 2015, at 6:00 pm in the University Center's Raccoon Mountain Room, Dr. John David Smith of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte will deliver the department’s 2015-2016 Civil War Era Lecture, entitled “As firmly linked to ‘Africanus’ as was that of the celebrated Scipio”: Abraham Lincoln, Emancipation, and the U.S.
This event is free of charge and open to the public, and is made possible by the generous support of the College of Arts and Sciences. Questions may be directed to lecture organizers Susan Eckelmann (Susan-Eckelmann@utc.edu) and John Swanson (John-Swanson@utc.edu) Attendees in need of accommodations are invited to contact UTC's Disability Resource Center at 423-425-4006. A brief lecture description and speaker bio are included below.
When Abraham Lincoln issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he not only freed the slaves in the Confederate states but also invited freed slaves and free persons of color to join the U.S. Army as part of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), the first systematic, large-scale effort by the U.S. government to arm African Americans to aid in the nation’s defense. By the end of the war in 1865, nearly 180,000 black soldiers had donned the Union blue. Dr. Smith’s lecture lecture will examine the evolution of Lincoln’s military emancipation project, its implementation, and the recruitment and deployment of black troops. He will frame the evolution of Lincoln’s ideas on emancipation and arming blacks within congressional actions, explaining how, when, and why the president seemed to be so halting in his progression to military emancipation. Dr. Smith also will touch on the creation, mobilization, and military service of the USCT, as well as the broad meaning of Lincoln’s military emancipation project and its place in African American historical memory.
John David Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Smith has published twenty-five books, including An Old Creed for the New South: Proslavery Ideology and Historiography, 1865–1918 (1985), The Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery (1988), Slavery, Race, and American History (1999), Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and The American Negro (2000), Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era (2002), Undaunted Radical: The Selected Writings and Speeches of Albion W. Tourgée (2010), Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops (2013), Soldiering for Freedom (2014), and We Ask Only for Even-Handed Justice (2014). He has received the Mayflower Society Award for Nonfiction and The Gustavus Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America.