Upcoming History Events: Save the Date!

Pres. Andrew Johnson (courtesy Library of Congress)

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is proud to announce several upcoming history events, including our annual symposium. All are free and open to the public; check back soon for more information and to pre-register.


Friday, April 28 @ Noon

Brown Bag Lecture with Paul Polgar › “Congress’s First Debate on Slavery and Race”

Ketchum Hall, Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, 200 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

More about Paul Polgar: Paul J. Polgar is an assistant professor of history at the University of Mississippi, where he researches and teaches on slavery and emancipation in the United States and broader Atlantic World. His in-progress book manuscript reinterprets the history of gradual emancipation in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century North, arguing for the racially egalitarian challenge that America’s first abolitionists posed to black slavery in the new nation. He has published broadly on race and rights in the U.S., including topics ranging from African American disfranchisement in early national New York to black Boston’s protests of the film The Birth of a Nation.


Thursday, May 11 / Friday, May 12 (all-day event)

Annual Spring Symposium Focusing on Early Years of Reconstruction

Eric Foner (Columbia University) will present the keynote address on Thursday evening. Friday’s presenters include symposium co-directors Brook Thomas and Paul Finkelman as well as L. Diane Barnes, Spencer Crew, Lucy Salyer, and Michael Vorenberg.


Wednesday, June 14 @ Noon

Brown Bag Book Talk and Lecture with Carl Adams (Nance: The First Slave Freed by Abraham Lincoln)

Ketchum Hall, Veterans of Foreign Wars Building, 200 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

More about Carl Adams: Carl Michael Adams was born and raised in Alton, Illinois, and has been a lifelong Lincoln scholar. Carl earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville in 1979. He worked for more than twenty years on Public Radio documentaries and network television news and is now semiretired. In the 1970s and 1980s, Carl lectured as a military training officer for both the marines and the army in the art and sciences of communications, including lessons of military history.

In his project,“Trials of Nance,” Adams had to dig deep into Lincoln and Illinois history to recover the story of the first slave freed by Abraham Lincoln, a story that for over a hundred years was lost to history. Carl’s efforts have been recognized by the Illinois State Historical Society and the Garrett Museum in Peoria, Illinois.