Monday, July 28, 2008

Upcoming Discussion---James Buchanan and the Political Crisis of the 1850s

Heavy hitters of history will converge on Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania to run the bases on James Buchanan, 15th President. A symposium organized by the James Buchanan Historical Society and the Lancaster County Historical Society and funded by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation will convene September 19-20 at Wheatland (the Buchanan homestead) and Franklin & Marshall College.

The political crisis of the 1850s will set forth by William W. Freehling (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities) and Michael Holt (University of Virginia). Because of the likely divergence of opinions between Freehling and Holt, John W. Quist (Shippensburg University) will moderate the discussion) on Friday evening at Wheatland. Slated for Saturday morning at Franklin & Marshall College, the constitutional crisis of 1857 will be discussed along with Buchanan's foreign policy. The Dred Scott Supreme Court decision and Bleeding Kansas will be presented noted writers Paul Finkelman, Nicole Etcheson and John Belohlavek. Before and after lunch Buchanan will be taken apart as political party leader and cabinet manager. The rebellions by the Mormons in Utah and the Secessionists in the South will be reviewed, as well as the various perceptions by the North of the secessionist movement. Jean Baker, Daniel Crofts and William Shade, each a noted scholar will be the presenters.

An interesting feature of the symposium is that secondary teachers receive in-service credits. High school teachers will meet with the speakers and will bef provided with lesson plans and classroom materials. Lancaster County Community Foundation and the James Buchanan Foundation will host the teacher/scholar discussion. Early registration of $25 is encouraged because a cap has been set on the number of attendees. Secondary, undergraduate and graduate student have the registration fee waived. A lunch is available; the cost is $10.50.

Visit the wwwsite of James Buchanan's Wheatland to view the registration materials. Wheatland and Franklin & Marshall College are about an hour and a quarter east of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

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