‘Lincoln vs. Jefferson’ focus of event

Staff report
Monday, January 31, 2011

President Abraham Lincoln will be the focus of a conference of historians in Charleston this weekend.

The Stephen Dill Lee Institute is bringing a half dozen authors and historians in for "Lincoln vs. Jefferson: Opposing Visions of America" at the Francis Marion Hotel on Friday and Saturday.

"The conference will be a great history of the different economic and political philosophies of the two presidents," said Brag Bowling, director of the Lee Institute. "Jefferson was a proponent of decentralized government, while Lincoln was for big government and high taxes. We will have some of the best scholars in the country to address the issue."

The Stephen Dill Lee Institute — named for the Confederate general and Lowcountry native — is something of a Confederate think-tank formed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The conference is part of the Institute’s educational outreach and the public is invited to buy tickets for the entire weekend of events. Among the speakers:

–David Aiken, professor at The Citadel and College of Charleston, will speak Friday night on the burning of Columbia and bombardment of Charleston, as seen through the eyes of Southern novelist and historian William Gilmore Simms.

–Thomas Dilorenzo, a professor at Loyola University in Maryland and academic director for the Lee Institute, will talk on the 16th president. Dilorenzo, author of "The Real Lincoln," is one of the best-known Lincoln critics in the country. He will speak on the differing economic policies of Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.

–Walter D. Kennedy, a 2008 presidential candidate, will deliver the keynote address at Saturday night’s banquet. He has co-authored five books on Southern heritage. Kennedy will argue his case for who was the real Republican, Lincoln or Jefferson.

For a full list of speakers, go to www.stephendleeinstitute.com.

Registration for the conference is $150 per person, or $125 for members of the SCV.

The cost includes admission to all lectures, as well as all meals on Saturday as well as the banquet.

For more information, call 1-800-693-4943 or (804) 389-3620.

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