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