Two talks on the Civil War era
Two lectures this week intersect with regard to New Mexico history and the Civil War. In the first, “New Mexico, Slavery, and the Confederate Cause,” Dwight Pitcaithley discusses the presidential election of 1860, which hinged on whether or not slavery would expand into the western territories or be abolished. Pitcaithley is a professor of history at New Mexico State University and is the retired chief historian for the National Park Service and author of several books, including The U.S. Constitution and Secession: A Documentary Anthology
of Slavery and White Supremacy (University Press of Kansas, 2018). He has performed an in-depth study of public documents about the connection between Southern secession, white supremacy, and the United States’ institution of slavery.
In the second lecture, historical impersonator Noel Pugach performs “Lew Wallace: The Adventurer in Deed and Spirit.” Wallace, who grew up in Indiana and was known for establishing and leading small militias as he began his military career, was a Union general during the Civil War. He eventually became governor of the New Mexico Territory from 1878 to 1881 — during which time his novel Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ (1880) was published by Harper & Brothers. — Jennifer Levin Friends of History Lecture Series presents “New Mexico, Slavery, and the Confederate Cause,” at 12 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the auditorium at the New Mexico History Museum (113 Lincoln Ave.). There is no charge for admission; seating is limited and audience members are encouraged to arrive early. For more information, go to nmhistorymuseum.org or call 505-476-5200.
Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning presents “Lew Wallace: The Adventurer in Deed and
Spirit,” at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at St. John’s United Methodist Church (1200 Old Pecos Trail). Admission is $5. For more information, go to renesan.org or call 505-982-9274.