7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Brad Fletcher examines the state's role in, and response to, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves.
Maine’s mixed reaction to the North vs. South conflict over slavery will be the subject of a talk 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 27 at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.
The free talk by Brad Fletcher falls five days after the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, announcing the end of slavery in the rebellious south to take effect Jan. 1, 1863.
According to Fletcher, an upper school history teacher at Berwick Academy, the Emancipation Proclamation was not overwhelmingly supported in the Northern states, even though it remains the single most important act performed by any American president. There was a decidedly mixed reaction in the North, including in the state of Maine, which was itself born of the sectional conflict over slavery only decades before. Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln's vice-president, was from Paris, Maine.
Fletcher will examine Maine's attitude and record towards slavery, as well as the way its politicians, journalists, citizens and soldiers helped shape, and responded to Lincoln's historic decree.
The upcoming program is part of the Old Berwick Historical Society's 2012 series of talks, walks and historical events. The series, supported by member donations, includes seven monthly evening presentations as well as other local history events around South Berwick.