The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County is honored to host a traveling exhibition from the New York Historical Society entitled “Lincoln and New York.” The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area partnered with the New-York Historical Society to sponsor the internship of MTSU public history graduate student Cheri LaFlamme Szcodronski. Szcodronski spent the summer of 2010 in New York City as a fellow and completed research for her thesis on the contraband camp at Grand Junction in West Tennessee. The ten-panel traveling exhibition includes a section on the emergence of contraband camps during the Civil War. Along with the New-York Historical Society exhibition, the Heritage Area’s Emancipation and Reconstruction exhibition will be on display. It features two panels based on Szcodronski’s research on Grand Junction.
“Lincoln and New York” probes the myths and controversies surrounding Abraham Lincoln. Starting with the iconic Mathew Brady image of Lincoln without his beard, the exhibition follows his earliest efforts to gain the blessing of the political and journalistic leaders of New York for a presidential run. Other panel images of rare period artifacts and caricatures show the political passions of the day, depicting the rising impact of the media and the first racial scare tactics used in a national political campaign. Original research explores New York’s influence on the Civil War, the impact of emancipation, and the promotion of Lincoln’s persona as he evolved from an obscure Illinois politician to a national martyr. Visitors who think they know everything about Lincoln will be startled to see so much that is new through not only the exhibit itself but also viewing a companion DVD and online exhibit.
The traveling exhibit will be on display at The Heritage Center through December 14th. Located just off the square at 225 West College Street, The Heritage Center is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding major holidays) and features local history exhibits and guided walking tours of the town square on the hour. Group tours are available Monday through Saturday by advance reservations. Admission is free. For more information see www.hcmrc.org or call 615-217-8013.