Mary Todd Lincoln Bicentennial SYMPOSIUm


In celebration of Mary Lincoln’s 200th birthday, the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, Kentucky will host a day-long symposium on Friday, November 2, 2018. The symposium in collaboration with the University of Kentucky History Department will be held at the William T. Young Library from 9a.m.- 4:30p.m. Scholars Catherine Clinton, Angela Esco Elder, and Jennifer Fleischner will present throughout the day, concluding with a moderated panel.

“We are so pleased to support the Mary Todd Lincoln Bicentennial Symposium,” says Dr. Amy Taylor, Interim Chair of the University of Kentucky History Department. “This event will bring a distinguished panel of scholars to Lexington with new perspectives on the former first lady—a woman who possessed a unique vantage point on a period of American history that remains vigorously debated today.”


Dr. Catherine Clinton has written and edited over twenty-five books, including her 2009 biography Mrs. Lincoln: A Life. Currently the Denman Chair in American History at the University of Texas at San Antonio, she served on the Advisory Committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and remains on advisory boards for Civil War History, Civil War Times, and Ford’s Theatre. She also served as a consultant for Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln.


Dr. Jennifer Fleischner is the author of Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave. Professor and Chair of the English Department at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, she has served on the Advisory Committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, as a C-SPAN panelist, a commentator for the History Channel, and commentator for the PBS documentary film "Lincoln."


Dr. Angela Esco Elder is an Assistant Professor of History at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Her dissertation exploring Confederate widowhood won the Southern Historical Association’s Dissertation Prize in Southern History in 2017. Her essay “‘We Weep Over Our Dead Together: Mary Todd Lincoln and Emilie Todd Helm” appears in Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times

“It’s such a rare treat to have leading Mary Lincoln scholars in the same room,” says Jonathan Coleman, Curator and Assistant Director of the Mary Todd Lincoln House. “I can’t wait to hear the rich, thoughtful discussion the symposium will produce.”

The symposium is free and open to the public. It will run from 9 a.m.–4:30p.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018 at the William T. Young Library at University of Kentucky. The library is located at 401 Hilltop Avenue. For further information about the symposium call Jonathan Coleman at 859-233-9999.


If you're Attending the Symposium

Reserve your seat!

The Mary Todd Lincoln Bicentennial Symposium is free and no registration is required. However, if you would like to reserve a seat at the symposium in case of an overflow crowd, please fill out the form below. You will receive a confirmation email from our staff confirming your reservation.

Name *


The Guest Parking Lot for William T. Young Library is located at 401 Hilltop Avenue. The fee is $2.00 per hour. Parking near UK can often be a difficult process, so consider taking a taxi, uber or lyft to the William T. Young Library.

Lunch Options

The University of Kentucky campus has a diverse array of options for lunch within close walking distance of Young Library.


The Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP) is hosting a sandwich-buffet lunch at the well-appointed Hillary Boone Center located beside William T. Young Library. The lunch is $20 and requires registration and pre-payment. The deadline to register for the lunch is October 24th. For more information and to register, contact ALP host Susan Miller at

Inside William T. Young

William T. Young Library is home to the nation’s largest campus Starbucks, serving sandwiches, baked goods, and its signature coffee drinks.

At the 90

The 90 is located directly across Hilltop Avenue from William T. Young Library. As one of the main dining hubs for the University of Kentucky, it offers a large cafeteria alongside several restaurants, like:

·         The Fresh Food Company offers several stations that include a Mongolian grill, traditions, pizza, salad bar, sauté, and much more. There is something for everyone! For more info and a menu, click here.

·         Aqua Sushi chefs offer Lexington’s sushi lovers rare flavors and perfectly-executed classics.

·         La Madeline features made-from-scratch menu items using classic French techniques.

·         Fast food options include Taco Bell and Papa John’s Pizza.


Located at 334 Hilltop Avenue, K-Lair is a UK Tradition, serving Kentucky Proud beef, chicken and more produced right here in Kentucky.


Hyatt Regency Lexington is offering discounted rooms for symposium attendees at $139 per night plus tax while rooms are still available. For details and booking, please click here.

The Mary Todd Lincoln Bicentennial Symposium is made possible by the generosity of:

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