Depot Museum

  2012 Guest Speaker, David Blight

David W. Blight is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the US Civil War and its legacy. As of June, 2004, he is Director, succeeding David Brion Davis, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale. During the 2006-07 academic year he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library.

Blight is the author of American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, (Harvard University Press, 2011); and A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation, (Harcourt, 2007), this book combines two newly discovered slave narratives in a volume that recovers the lives of their authors, John Washington and Wallace Turnage, as well as provides an incisive history of the story of emancipation. Blight is also the author of Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (Harvard University Press, 2001), which received eight book awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize as well as four awards from the Organization of American Historians, including the Merle Curti prizes for both intellectual and social history. Other published works include a book of essays, Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2002); and Frederick Douglass's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (LSU Press, 1989). Blight is the editor of and author of six books, including When This Cruel War Is Over: The Civil War Letters of Charles Harvey Brewster (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1992); Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (Bedford Books, 1993); co-editor with Robert Gooding-Williams, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (Bedford Books, 1997); co-editor with Brooks Simpson, Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era (Kent State Univ. Press, 1997); and Caleb Bingham, The Columbian Orator (orig. 1797, NYU Press, 1997), the book of oratory and antislavery writings that Frederick Douglass discovered while a youth. The edited volume, Passages to Freedom: The Underground Railroad in History and Memory, was published by Smithsonian Press in 2004 and is the companion book for the opening of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

Blight is also a frequent book reviewer for the Washington Post Book World, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and other newspapers, and has written many articles on abolitionism, American historical memory, and African American intellectual and cultural history. Blight has also been a consultant to several documentary films, including the 1998 PBS series, "Africans in America," and "The Reconstruction Era" (2004). Blight has a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and did his undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. He has also taught at Harvard University, at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown, Flint, Michigan. He was also senior Fulbright Professor in American Studies at the University of Munich in Germany in 1992-93.

Blight was elected as a member of the Society of American Historians in 2002. Since 2004 he has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Historical Society and the board for African American Programs at Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also serves on the board of advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and is involved in planning numerous conferences and events to commemorate both the Lincoln anniversary and the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. In his capacity as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, Blight organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition. Blight is also an advisor to the September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York.

Welcome to

  The Official Website of the

Lincoln Society in Peekskill

Founded 1903

Janice Molloy, President

P.O. Box 2097

Peekskill, N.Y. 10566


"Dedicated to perpetuating the name, ideals, and memory of Abraham Lincoln and to foster and encourage patriotism"

"That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Lincoln was elected President in November of 1860. During his trip from Illinois to Washington for his inauguration, he traveled by train east to Albany and then south through the Hudson valley to NYC, Philadelphia and Baltimore. At his stop in Peekskill NY , at the Peekskill Train station, Lincoln addressed a supportive crowd from a specially prepared platform erected on a baggage car. There, he sensed the difficult times the nation appeared to be heading towards, when he said:

“In regard to the difficulties which lie before me and our beloved country, if I can only be as generously and unanimously sustained as the demonstrations I have witnessed indicate I shall be, then in my management of public affairs, I shall not fail: Without your sustaining hands I am sure that neither I nor any other man can hope to surmount these difficulties. I trust that in the course I shall pursue, I shall be sustained not only by the party that elected me, but by the free, intelligent and earnest support of the patriotic people of the whole country.”

Michael E. Griest as Lincoln, recites Lincoln's address to the people of Peekskill.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The Mystic Chords of Memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Historical Artist, Paul R. Martin III
recites part of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address at The Lincoln Society's Annual Dinner in February of 2001.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves and with all nations.”

Lincoln' Second Inaugural Address.

Peeksill Mayor John Testa addresses the crowd at the rededication of the Lincoln Exedra Monument on South Street with LS board member John Rainey.

“When those little gray eyes and face were lighted up by the inward soul on fires of emotion, then it was that all those apparently ugly or homely features sprang into organs of beauty. Sometimes it did appear to me that Lincoln was just fresh from the hands of his creator.”

William H. Herndon

Peekskill Train Station and Lincoln Portrait by Paul R. Martin III


(Founded 1903)

Janice Molloy, President

P.O. Box 2097

Peekskill, N.Y. 10566


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