UTC’s History Department is thrilled to welcome back to campus 1980 program alumnus Dr. Michael Toomey, who will join visiting scholar Dr. Charles Hubbard for a discussion of “Lincoln’s Dilemma: Slavery, Morality and Politics” on Thursday, March 30th from 5:30-7:00pm in the Guerry Center Reading Room. This event, which is free and open to the public, features two esteemed scholars and recent retirees from Lincoln Memorial University, who will offer brief presentations, engage each other in conversation, and answer audience questions. The Guerry Center is located near the southeast corner of Chamberlain Field in the center of the UTC campus. Parking is available in the Lot 12/Lupton Hall parking garage where there is no charge after 5pm on weekdays. In addition, free street parking is available after 6pm.
Abraham Lincoln’s status as one of the America’s great leaders rests in large part on his role as “The Great Emancipator.” But his ultimate success in bringing about the end of slavery often overshadows the dilemma he faced in achieving that goal. Lincoln’s dilemma was how to end slavery without doing irreparable damage to the Constitution and the foundations of the American Republic. He took his solemn oath to preserve and protect the Constitution seriously while harboring a lifetime commitment against the moral evil that was slavery. Resolving this dilemma required Lincoln to draw on his own moral convictions for motivation and to utilize his considerable political skill to challenge the Constitutional realities that stood in his way. A look at Lincoln’s religious background, the observations of friends and colleagues, and the steps he took as President, provide important insights into the principles and the inspirations that contributed to his ultimate success in destroying slavery while preserving the integrity of the Constitution.
Michael Toomey is recently retired from Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), where he was Assistant Dean of the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and a Professor of History specializing in Tennessee, Appalachian, Native American, and frontier history. Toomey directed LMU’s Lincoln Life and Legacy program, and he co-authored with Charles Hubbard the book In His Words: Readings from the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Upon retirement in 2022 Dr. Toomey was presented Lincoln Memorial University’s prestigious Houston Award for Teaching Excellence, which “honors faculty who have exhibited exemplary professional teaching achievements characterized by clear, abundant, persistent demonstration of high standards of teaching.” He has worked previously as Curator of History at the East Tennessee Historical Society (1999-2007), Managing Editor of The Journal of East Tennessee History (1999-2010), and Associate Professor of History at Knoxville College (1991-1999), where he was also Dean of Academic Affairs (1997-1999). Dr. Toomey’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in History (The University of Tennessee, 1991), an M.A. in History (The University of Tennessee, 1984), and a B.A. in History (The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 1980). Michael grew up in southeast Hamilton County, and he is now a resident of Clinton, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife, Lydia, an environmental engineer. He has one daughter, Jennifer Franklin, who lives in Chattanooga, and his current interests and activities include gardening, yard work, reading, hiking, and frequent trips to Chattanooga to visit friends and grandchildren.
Charles M. Hubbard is Emeritus, Professor of History and Lincoln Historian at Lincoln Memorial University, and currently is a Visiting Scholar in UTC’s History Department teaching courses on “Abraham Lincoln’s Life and Times” and the “Global Cold War.” He is the former Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Institute for Leadership and Public at the University. He is the author and editor of nine history books including Lincoln Reshapes the Presidency and The Burden of Confederate Diplomacy. Dr. Hubbard’s numerous articles and essays have appeared in prominent academic journals, including the Journal of American History and the Journal of Civil War Studies. His essay, “King Cotton and Confederate Foreign Policy,” was published by Routledge Press in 2014. Dr. Hubbard received his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a specialization in American political and diplomatic history. He is a recipient of the John Nicholas Brown Fellowship from the Center for the Study of American Humanities at Brown University where he remains a Fellow. In 2009 he was inducted into the Lincoln Academy as a Lincoln Laureate by the governor of Illinois. He received the Lincoln Diploma of Honor in 2011 for his contributions to the field of Lincoln studies. Dr. Hubbard is a Senior Fulbright scholar and has received two Fulbright fellowships to research and study abroad. President George W. Bush appointed him to the Fulbright Foundation review board where he continues to serve. In November of 2011 he received the prestigious Hay-Fulbright award from the U.S. State Department to deliver a series of lectures in the U.K. at King’s College London and Corpus Christi College at Oxford. More recently, Dr. Hubbard was selected to deliver the keynote address at the Rothermere Institute for American Studies at Cambridge University. His latest book is a collection of essays entitled, Lincoln: The Law and Presidential Leadership published by the University of Southern Illinois Press. Charlie and his wife Sherry are longtime residents of Signal Mountain, Tennessee.