Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mount Pleasant's not just for threshermen

People who know me well will know that I'm not just a Lincoln buff, but also a fan of steam engines. Though I've never made it to the mecca for steam enthusiasts, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, I still hope to someday.

Now Lincoln buffs have a reason to go there, too. Check out this information from the college's website about a Lincoln event today:

Lincoln events planned for Iowa Wesleyan College

Author Burrus Carnahan will speak about his book Act of Justice: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War on Thursday, October 22, at 11:00 a.m. at Iowa Wesleyan College.

The program will be held in the Chapel Auditorium as part of the Forum series. The Friends of the Harlan-Lincoln House at Iowa Wesleyan College are sponsoring the event.

Act of Justice examines how President Abraham Lincoln came to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Carnahan explains that Lincoln did not think he had the authority as President, under the Constitution, to free the slaves. However, he came to understand that he had authority as commander-in-chief of the United States armed forces to free the slaves in the territory that was in rebellion against the Federal Government. He believed that freeing the slaves was in the military interest of saving the Union.

The book is available now in the Iowa Wesleyan College Bookstore and will be available at the College Chapel the day of the presentation. Following the presentation, the author will sign copies of the book.

The Iowa Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has included this event on their calendar of events for this fall. The Bicentennial Commission and Iowa State Historical Society will bring their new traveling exhibit History on the Move: Abraham Lincoln and Iowa to Iowa Wesleyan that day. Mount Pleasant 5th grade classes will tour at specified times, and the exhibit will be open to the public immediately following Carnahan’s presentation until 1:45 p.m. The exhibit will be parked on the driveway northwest of the College Chapel, off of Broad Street.

The Harlan-Lincoln House on the Iowa Wesleyan campus will be open for tours following the presentation until 2:00 p.m. Brochures that detail Harlan and Lincoln sites in Mount Pleasant will be available for anyone who wants to take a self-guided driving tour of these sites. There is no charge for any of these activities.

Burrus Carnahan is a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he was a private sector consultant on international arms control issues and served for 20 years as a lawyer in the U.S. Air Force, where he specialized in the law of war. He has participated in several international negotiations on arms control and the law of war and is author of numerous articles on those subjects. Carnahan is also a lecturer at George Washington University Law School.

Carnahan has local connections; both of his parents attended Iowa Wesleyan, and Carnahan Road is named after his ancestors.

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