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Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator? (BAR 8)

The Sarah Tryphena Phillips Lecture was delivered at the Academy on 3 November 2003 by Professor Eric Foner FBA, DeWitt Clinton Professor at Columbia University. In his lecture, Professor Foner explored the attitudes toward slavery that Lincoln held for virtually his entire life, and traced how he changed under the pressure of world-shattering events. He argued that Lincoln became the Great Emancipator, that is to say, he assumed the role thrust on him by history, and tried to live up to it. In this extract Professor Foner illustrates the evolution of Lincoln’s views on slavery in the light of the Civil War.

History • Eric Foner

The whole article can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Published in British Academy Review, Issue 8.