Thursday, April 27, 2017

Reconstruction at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society

[We have the following announcement.]

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will present its annual symposium May 11 and 12 on Capitol Hill. Scholars from around the country will start to explore the post-Civil War period in “Congress Begins to Reconstruct the Nation.” The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is recommended.

Columbia University’s Eric Foner will deliver the keynote address, “The Significance of Reconstruction in American History,” on Thursday, May 11 at 6:30 pm. The keynote will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044, and will be preceded by a reception at 6 pm.

On Friday, May 12, from 8:45 am to 4 pm, six additional speakers will cover a range of topics related to early Reconstruction. Symposium Co-Directors Paul Finkelman and Brook Thomas will both present. Other speakers include L. Diane Barnes, Spencer Crew, Lucy Salyer, and Michael Vorenberg. This day-long event will be held in the Russell Senate Office Building, Room 485.

To pre-register, click here or email your contact information to, along with the names of any guests and the portions of the event you plan to attend. Can’t make it to the program? We’ll be live-tweeting as much as we can from @USCapHis #reconstructionhistory.

Tentative schedule after the jump.

Thursday, May 11
6 pm Opening Reception
6:30 pm Keynote Address by Eric Foner (Columbia University)
“The Significance of Reconstruction in American History”

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044
Best entrance: South Capitol Street between Independence and First St. SE; use Capitol South or Union Station metro or look for street parking.

Friday, May 12
Russell Senate Office Building, Room 485
Best entrance: Constitution Ave. and First St. NE; use Union Station or Capitol South metro; street parking can be difficult but you can validate two hours of parking at Union Station at the machine inside the station.

8:45 am Oening and Introductions

9-11:30 am Morning Session
Paul Finkelman, John E. Murray Visiting Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
“Thaddeus Stevens, the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, and the Revolution of 1866”

Brook Thomas, University of California at Irvine
“Horatio Bateman’s “Reconstruction” (1867): A Utopian Vision of North/South Reconciliation and Equality”

Michael Vorenberg, Brown University
“The Fourteenth Amendment as an Act of War”

1:45-4 pm Afternoon Session
Spencer Crew, George Mason University
Depicting Reconstruction at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

L. Diane Barnes, Youngstown State University
“Frederick Douglass’s Reconstruction: Toward a New National Era”

Lucy Salyer, University of New Hampshire
“Reconstructing Citizenship: The Forgotten Right of Expatriation”