Exhibit set to open in Chappaqua

We’ve often featured the happenings of the New Castle Historical Society here, so continue the tradition with news of the organization’s latest exhibition.

The society, headquartered in the Horace Greeley House Museum in Chappaqua, will open “Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley: Uncertain Allies” on Sept. 23.

As the advance materials describe, “Illustrated with contemporary photographs, prints, cartoons, and documents, the exhibition traces the complex and sometimes tempestuous relationship between these important leaders during the era of the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley had much in common. Both arose from poverty to achieve success through a combination of natural talent and personal effort: Greeley as a journalist who became the editor of the country’s most influential newspaper, Lincoln as a lawyer and politician who became President of the United States. Both shared many of the same aims and ideals, particularly their determination to preserve the Union, and to bring about the eventual end of slavery. But their very different personalities and temperaments often put them at odds. They became allies, but uncertain ones, who at once respected and exasperated each other.

Lincoln is justly celebrated for his leadership through the ordeal of the Civil War. But Greeley also made a significant contribution, through his support of Lincoln at certain crucial moments, and more importantly by his influence on Northern public opinion, which gradually shifted goals from simply defeating the Southern rebellion to achieving a ‘new birth of freedom’ in a nation free of slavery.”

There will be an opening event, with free admission and complimentary wine and cheese, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Greeley House, at 100 King St.

And in connection with the exhibition, the historical society and the Chappaqua Library join to host a lecture by Harold Holzer, recipient of honors including the 2008 National Humanities Award and a noted author and authority on Lincoln and the Civil War era.

The talk, “Old Abe and The Old Philosopher: The Long, Unhappy Alliance between Horace Greeley and Abraham Lincoln,” will be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 25 in the library’s theater. Refreshments will be served, and copies of Holzer’s books will be available for sale and signing.

The historical society exhibition, which continues through next spring, will be open both before and after the lecture.

For more, visit newcastlehs.org. – Mary Shustack

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