Fraker's comprehensive work explains how the years Lincoln spent riding the circuit, parts of it anti-slavery and parts of it pro-slavery, taught him, first, how to understand the thinking underlying both positions and, second, how to articulate his anti-slavery beliefs in a way most likely to persuade those in the middle, or even mildly pro-slavery. Lincoln learned to speak about this explosive issue in non-inflammatory ways. Hildene's Executive Director, Seth Bongartz, said, "Aside from Lincoln himself, two things made him president, Stephen Douglas in his role as political foil, and the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit as training ground for honing his language about slavery.
Hildene's mission, Values into Action, is deeply rooted in the Lincolnesque notions of civic responsibility and civil civic discourse.
Fraker makes the case that by learning to listen and speak respectfully to those with whom he disagreed, Lincoln set an example that is just as relevant today as it was during the 1850s.
This program begins at 6 p.m. in Hildene's Beckwith Room and is free and open to the public. The 40 minute presentation will be followed by a 20 minute question and answer session.
For further information contact Stephanie at 802-367-7960 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.