As part of its Primetime Adventures Spring Lecture Series, the Auburn Public Library will offer presentations by Dr. Charlie Plummer on “Freedom and Liberation” on Tuesday, June 7, and “Civil War Reconstruction, Liberation, and the 14th Amendment” on Thursday, June 23. The presentations are offered in the Library’s Community Room at 2-3:30 PM, and are free and open to the public. The presentations are supported by a generous grant from the Maine Humanities Council.
In his examination of “Philosophy of Freedom and Liberation,” Dr. Plummer hopes to provide a deeper understanding of these critical concepts. In today’s contentious primary races, opinions have been voiced by candidates and their supporters concerning all aspects to the rights conveyed by the 14th amendment, most notably concerning immigration, birthright citizenship, and marriage equality. Dr. Plummer will guide the audience through a discussion of the principles and tenets of freedom and liberation, beginning with the concept’s ancient roots, and continuing to present day America.
In his talk on “The Reconstruction: The People and Politics Following the Civil War,” Dr. Plummer will examine the role of the federal government in protecting citizens’ rights, and the efforts for economic and racial justice in the turbulent years following the “War Between the States.”
According to Dr. Plummer, the challenging prospect of rebuilding the South and transitioning four million newly-freed blacks from slavery to a free-labor society fell to the Army’s “Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands” (the Freedmen’s Bureau), established in 1865. The Freedmen’s Bureau plan was a good one, notes Dr. Plummer, “until the politicians got involved,” especially the newly-elected President Andrew Johnson.
The bureau was headed by Union General Oliver Otis Howard from Leeds, Maine. Known as the “Christian General” because of his deep faith, Howard was instrumental in the establishment of public schools for blacks, most notably Howard University (named after him).
A popular speaker at the library, Dr. Plummer travels widely doing portrayals of Confederate and Union Civil War generals, including Joshua L. Chamberlain, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Oliver Howard, and Stonewall Jackson, and ordinary people of that time.