The Pennsylvania Connection: Black Freedom, Reconstruction, & Keystone State Leadership
Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Saskatchewan Law School in Canada, will return to LancasterHistory.org to discuss his research on The Pennsylvania Connection: Black Freedom, Reconstruction, & Keystone State Leadership. This year we celebrate the sesquicentennial of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the passage by Congress of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which revolutionized citizenship in America, put the final nail in the coffin of American slavery, and set the stage (ultimately) for the Civil Rights Revolution of the 1960s. With the second largest delegation in the House of Representatives, Pennsylvanians played a major role in Congress during the 1860s. Significant in the struggle for Civil Rights were William D. "Pig Iron" Kelley in the House and, starting in 1867, Simon Cameron in the Senate. But the key player in the struggle to create meaningful civil rights in America was Thaddeus Stevens, who represented Lancaster County in the House of Representatives. Few members of the House are more important in our history---and more controversial---than Stevens.
Learn more about Stevens and why he helped to strengthen America by implementing Lincoln's call for "A New Birth of Freedom." Hated by former slave owners, adored by advocates of freedom, and feared by even his colleagues, this lecture argues that he was Lancaster's greatest contribution to American history.
Paul Finkelman, Ph.D. is currently the Ariel F. Sallows Visiting Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Saskatchewan. In the spring of 2017 he will be a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2014-15 he was the Scholar-in-Residence at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Finkelman has previously taught at numerous universities and law schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Duke Law Law School, LSU Law School, and Washington University in St. Louis. He has written more than 40 books and 200 scholarly articles. His scholarship has been cited in four U.S. Supreme Court opinions and by numerous other courts. He has lectured in almost every state, in Canada, at the United Nations, throughout Europe, and in Asia and South America. Dr. Finkelman has written extensively on the antebellum and Civil War period, including essays on James Buchanan and a biography of President Millard Fillmore. He has presented three times on issues of race and legal history to annual conferences of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the state's appellate and trial court judges. He was an expert witness in the successful case challenging the constitutionality of the Alabama Ten Commandments monument and in the law suit over the ownership of Barry Bonds' 73rd home run.
The Presidential Lecture The Pennsylvania Connection will take place in Ryder Hall at LancasterHistory.org. A social gathering with refreshments will begin at 4:00pm, followed by the lecture at 4:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.