Thursday Lecture Series: Altered States

Mourning for Lincoln: Altered States, Transformed Nation

Thursday, The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

When President Lincoln was murdered, less than a week after his armies won the American Civil War in 1865, the nation confronted its first presidential assassination. Public responses to Lincoln’s death have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into the personal responses of African Americans and whites, Yankees and Confederates, men and women, soldiers and civilians. Exploring a catastrophic event on a human scale, Hodes investigates the altered states of consciousness--shock, grief, glee--that reigned in the immediate aftermath, bringing to life a key moment of national uncertainty and conflict that takes us far beyond the headlines to illuminate the roots of the war’s aftermath. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of the nation were at stake for everyone, whether they grieved or rejoiced when they heard the news.