The Somerset Community College Student Government Association, together with Kentucky Chautauqua, will present Abraham Lincoln: "I, too, am a Kentuckian" at Somerset Community College, Meece Auditorium, on February 13, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. The Meece Auditorium is located in the Meece Building on the SCC Somerset North Campus, 808 Monticello Street, Somerset. The event is free and open to the public.
Born on a farm in what is now LaRue County, Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) spent his early years in the Commonwealth. When he was seven, his family moved to Indiana, and later Illinois. But, as his brilliance and burning political ambition carried him to the presidency and greatness - a panel of historians recently chose him as the most influential American who ever lived - Lincoln always had connections with his native state.
In his law office in Springfield, Ill., he had a partner, William "Billy" Herndon, who hailed from Greensburg, Ky. His best friend in Springfield was Joshua Speed from Louisville. His wife, Mary, was from Lexington, a daughter of the prominent Todd family. And his political role model, a friend of the Todd family, was the Kentucky statesman Henry Clay. During the Civil War, Lincoln was unpopular in Kentucky, but when he said, "I, too, am a Kentuckian," no one could dispute it.
Though he never came close to winning Kentucky in a presidential election, and was reviled by some of the state's most outspoken residents, Lincoln always regarded Kentucky with affection and he never lost sight of its strategic importance in the Civil War.
"I think to lose Kentucky," Lincoln said, "is the same as to lost the whole game. Kentucky gone we cannot hold Missouri, nor I think Maryland."
Lincoln read Kentucky newspapers, knew the thinking of opinion leaders, and was sensitive to the state's strong attachment to the institution of slavery. Despite imposing a sometimes harsh military rule, he was able to keep Kentucky in the Union, but few Kentuckians thanked him for it until after he was dead.
Jim Sayre of Lawrenceburg portrays Abraham Lincoln for Kentucky Chautauqua. A retired transportation manager, Sayre has been studying and portraying the great president for several decades.
Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from: Christina Lee Brown, the Brown-Forman Corporation, the Cralle Foundation, the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels, Lindsey Wilson College, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, PNC Bank in Lexington, Scripps Howard Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc., Union College, WCPO-TV and Western Kentucky University.
The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is not a state agency, but is a proud partner of Kentucky's Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. For information, visit www.kyhumanities.org or call (859) 257-5932.