Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation

Online Site Support Notebook: Speakers for Programs

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has established a Speakers/Writers Bureau of individuals willing to travel to talk about or write about their favorite subject. To learn more about the Speakers/Writer’s Bureau, contact the ALBC office by phone at 202-707-6998 or by email at

Also, please see the Organization of American Historians Lectureship Program for more speaker ideas: (brochure in back pocket of this notebook)

The following list of speakers is taken from the final reports of libraries on the first Forever Free tour. Most of these scholars are in the History or Political Science department of their institution; contact information can be found through a Google search. Contact the ALA Public Programs Office if you have difficulty locating anyone.


George Rable, University of Alabama
Harriet Amos Doss, University of Alabama at Birmingham


Daniel Sutherland, University of Arkansas


Peter Vermilyea, Western Connecticut State University
David Bromwich, Yale University (English)
Steven Smith, Yale University (Political Science)


Stetson Kennedy (through Florida Humanities Council)
Gary Gershman, Nova University
Canter Brown, Jr., Florida Southern College
Michael Carlebach, University of Miami
Darden A. Pyron, Florida International University


Buckner F. Melton, Mercer University


Daniel Guillory, Milliken University, Decatur, IL
Ted Karamanski, Loyola University, Chicago


Robert May, Purdue University


Carol Crowe-Carraco, Western Kentucky University
Marion Lucas, Western Kentucky University


Jean Baker, Goucher College


Gerald Gill, Tufts University
David Quigley, Boston University
V. Phillip Munoz, Tufts University
Beverly Morgan Welch, director, Museum of Afro-American History, Boston
Nina Silber, Boston University
Elizabeth Ammons, Tufts University
Catherine Clinton, Harvard University


Greg Sumner, University of Detroit/Mercy College
DeWitt Dykes, Oakland University (Underground Railroad in Midwest)


Gary Kremer, Executive Director, State Historical Society of Missouri
William Piston, Missouri State University
Richard Todd Payne, Missouri State University (music lecturer)
Etta Madden, Missouri State University
Dominic Capeci, Missouri State University

New York

Barbara J. Fields, Columbia University
Eric Foner, Columbia University
Major David Siry, West Point Military Academy
Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar, New York City, co-chair, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
Peggy Brooks Bertram, University of Buffalo
Lillian S. Williams, University of Buffalo
Allen B. Ballard, University of Albany
Chris Godwin, Orange County (N.Y.) Community College
Harriet Alonso, City College of New York

North Carolina

David Goldfield, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Keith Griffler, University of Cincinnati (Underground Railroad)
Christopher Phillips, University of Cincinnati


William Corbett, Northeastern State University, OK


Roger Lane, Haverford College (PA Humanities Council speaker)
Ralph Proctor, Community College of Allegheny County (Pittsburgh)
Gabor Boritt, director, Civil War Institute, Gettysburg
Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College
Scott Hancock, Gettysburg College
James Delle, Kutztown University

South Carolina

Valinda Littlefield, University of South Carolina
Bobby Donaldson, University of South Carolina
Charles Joyner, Coastal Carolina University
Emory Thomas, The Citadel
Thomas Brown, University of South Carolina
Bernard Powers, College of Charleston


Richard J. M. Blackett, Vanderbilt University
Bobby Lovett, Tennessee State University
Major L. Wilson, professor emeritus, University of Memphis
Randolph Walker, LeMoyne Owen College, Memphis


John McCardell, Middlebury College
Merilyn Burrington (Vermont Humanities Council)


Scott Nelson, College of William and Mary
Robert Watson, Hampton University
Gloria Whittico, Hampton University
Stephen Ramold, Virginia State University

Lincoln/Mary Todd Lincoln impersonators
can be found at Successful presenters mentioned by libraries which were on the first Forever Free tour include:

  • Max and Donna Daniels
  • Dennis Boggs
  • William and Sue Wills
  • James Getty
  • R.J. Lindsey

Most impersonators will do separate programs for children as well.

Impersonators of other historical figures

  • Kathryn Harris, State Historical Library, Springfield, IL, does a first person presentation of Harriett Tubman.
  • Betty Jean Steinshouer portrays Harriet Beecher Stowe in Florida.
  • M. Kay duPont presents a one woman show based on her book, Loving Mr. Lincoln: The Personal Diaries of Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Leroy Hyter portrays Frederick Douglass.
  • Bill Grimmette portrays Frederick Douglass (through Maryland Humanities Council).
  • Lynn Ruehlmann presents a story performance of Spy! The Story of Civil War Spy Elizabeth Van Lew

Music presentations