Abraham Lincoln came of age during a time of great economic transformation which emphasized initiative, risk, and ambition rather than family, tradition, or stability. Lincoln clearly embraced the possibilities this new economic order brought with it. He left his family home to find his own way, eventually becoming what historians call a “self-made man.” His early life shaped the political philosophy which later guided his actions in the White House. In this presentation, engaging Lincoln family letters provide a unique look into the complexities of antebellum America and Lincoln's basic Whig philosophy, simply by exploring one timeless question: What does Honest Abe do when his step-brother hits him up for a loan?
Erin I. Bishop, PhD is a Museum Consultant with nearly 20 year’s experience in Museum Education, Exhibits and Interpretive Programming and specializing in interpretative development, educational programming, historic research, and commemorative event planning. From 2005-2009 she served as the Director of Education for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. In this position, she established the Education Division for the new museum, facilitated school tours (approximately 97,000 students per year), led teacher education workshops, organized special events and public programs, developed exhibits, and created teaching materials for classroom educators. More recently she served as the Director of Maine Archives and Museums, a state-wide professional association for Maine’s collecting institutions. Her current projects include coordinating the Town of Falmouth’s Tercentennial Commemoration taking place in 2018. She obtained her MA in history as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at University College Dublin, Ireland, where she went on to receive her PhD. Dr. Bishop is the author of two books and numerous articles.