August 2019 Program

The Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable’s upcoming program on August 15th will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Evansville Fraternal Order of Police (801 Court St, Evansville, IN 47708). It will feature local historians Bill Bartelt and Joshua Claybourn presenting on their new book, Abe’s Youth: Shaping the Future President.

Since his death, Abraham Lincoln has been celebrated as savior of the Union, proponent for emancipation, president of the United States, and skilled statesman. Although Lincoln’s adult life has been well documented and analyzed, most biographers have regarded his early years as inconsequential to his career and accomplishments.

In 1920 a group of historians known as the Lincoln Inquiry were determined to give Lincoln’s formative years their due. Abe’s Youth takes a look into their writings, which focus on Lincoln’s life between seven to twenty-one years of age. By filling in the gaps on Lincoln’s childhood, the authors shed light on how his experiences growing up influenced the man he became. As the first fully annotated edition of the Lincoln Inquiry papers, Abe’s Youth offers indispensable reading for anyone hoping to learn about Lincoln’s early life.

William E. “Bill” Bartelt is a Lincoln historian and retired educator. His books include There I Grew Up, which tells the history of Abraham Lincoln’s Indiana years and helped inspire The Better Angels, a 2014 biographical drama-historical film about Lincoln’s formative years. For many years Bartelt worked as a ranger and historian at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. He is a board member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Indiana Historical Society, and received the Indiana Historical Society’s “Hoosier Historian” award in 2003. Previously Bartelt served as a member of the federal Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission’s Advisory and Education Committees and served as vice chair of the Indiana Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Joshua A. Claybourn is an attorney and author or editor of several books, including Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative. A widely published commentator on legal, political, and historical topics, Claybourn has also appeared as a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NHK. He is a board member of the Abraham Lincoln Association.