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Lucas Morel to Deliver Endowed Professorship Lecture Morel’s talk “Lincoln, the 1860 Election & The Future of Slavery in America” will be held March 12 in Northen Auditorium.

Lucas-Morel-600x400 Lucas Morel to Deliver Endowed Professorship LectureLucas Morel, John K. Boardman, Jr. Professor of Politics

Lucas Morel, head of the Politics Department at Washington and Lee University, will present a public lecture to mark his appointment to the John K. Boardman Jr. Professorship in the Ernest Williams II School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics.

Morel’s lecture, titled “Lincoln, The 1860 Election & The Future of Slavery in America,” will be held at 5 p.m. March 12 in Northen Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Morel will consider that in 1860, Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party were the only viable alternative to the moral indifference of Illinois Sen. Stephen Douglas’s “popular sovereignty” and the pro-slavery politics of Vice President John Breckinridge of Kentucky. Against that backdrop, Morel will argue that Lincoln was a savvy but principled politician who tried to restore the Spirit of ’76, a patriotic sentiment of self-determination and individual liberty, as the leading principle of American self-government.

Lincoln believed that without a return to the equality principle of the Declaration of Independence, the nationalization of slavery would occur. Morel will focus on Lincoln’s skill in promoting a freedom agenda, irrespective of race, as he avoided the charge of fanatical abolitionism while striving to maintain the union of American states.

Morel is the author of two books about Lincoln, publishing “Lincoln’s Sacred Effort: Defining Religion’s Role in American Self-Government” in 2000 and “Lincoln and the American Founding” in 2020. He has also served as an editor or co-editor for several additional books. His research specializes in Lincoln, as well as Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison and Black American politics.

Morel has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1999 and has served as chair of the Politics Department since 2013. He is also a core faculty member in the Africana Studies program.

“I am honored to have succeeded Bill Connelly in holding the John K. Boardman Jr. Professorship,” said Morel. “He played a major role in bringing me to W&L, and I’m now enjoying my 25th year here.”

Morel is a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, former president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, a consultant on Library of Congress exhibits on Lincoln and the Civil War and was a member of the scholarly board of advisers for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He currently serves on the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which will plan activities to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America.

Morel earned a Bachelor of Arts in government from Claremont McKenna College, and he holds a Master of Arts in politics and a Ph.D. in political science from the Claremont Graduate University.

The John K. Boardman Jr. Professorship was created in 1999 to honor former President John D. Wilson and Anne Wilson and in recognition of the W&L 250th Anniversary celebration.