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November 4, 2013

Adams lecture on Emancipation Proclamation

SALEM — A leading scholar on the Civil War and the anti-slavery movement will deliver the annual Adams Lecture.

John Stauffer, chairman of the History of American Civilization program at Harvard University, will give his talk, “Boston Shapes the Emancipation Proclamation,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at The First Church, 316 Essex St. A book signing and wine and dessert reception follow.

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Stauffer will discuss the important but virtually unknown contributions made by three Bostonians — a black abolitionist, the white leader of antislavery forces and a political conservative.

Stauffer is the author of several books, including the award-winning “The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.” He is currently an adviser for the “The American Experience” at WGBH, which is producing a documentary about abolition.

The Adams Lecture is the signature event of the Salem Athenaeum, a membership library incorporated in 1810. It is named in honor of John Adams, its former librarian. Past speakers include Margaret Marshall, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and historians David Hackett Fischer and Nathaniel Philbrick.

Tickets for Stauffer’s lecture are $30 ($25 for Athenaeum members and $5 for students with IDs). They can be purchased at www.salemathenaeum.net or by calling 978-744-2540.

In conjunction with the lecture, a new exhibit, “Abolitionists!,” has opened at the Athenaeum, 337 Essex St., with a display of original documents, including books by Frederick Douglass and John Brown. The exhibit focuses on the active role Salem residents played in the anti-slavery movement and features the Grimke and Remond families, Congressman Stephen C. Phillips, and Luis Emillio, a captain in the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

The exhibition will be on display through Dec. 21.

Tom Dalton can be reached at tdalton@salemnews.com.

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