Kevin Wood, an Illinois Humanities Road Scholar since 2015, will present a first-person portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in period dress speaking on how both he and Illinois rose from obscurity to greatness between the years 1830 to 1861.
Major themes and topics include: the Northwest Ordinance and Territory; Statehood; the Lincoln family arrives in Illinois; the “Sucker State”; the New Salem years; the Black Hawk War; settling and taming the prairie, invention of the steel plow; moving of the capital; A. Lincoln, attorney-at-law; the move to Springfield; the Illinois & Michigan Canal, railroads and other “internal improvements”; the Todd family; marriage; hard times; the Eighth Judicial Circuit; the slavery question; abolitionists; the Dred Scott decision; the “House Divided” speech; the Lincoln-Douglas debates; the rise of Chicago; the election of 1860; secession; the Lincoln family’s farewell to Illinois.
Mr. Wood is currently based in Oak Park, Illinois, and makes over 250 appearances as Mr. Lincoln per year.
Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
and the Illinois General Assembly [through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)], as well
as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program
participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities,
IACA, our partnering organizations, or our funders.