Clement Price opens national program at Toms River library

Rutgers University Distinguished Service Professor Clement A. Price.

Rutgers University Distinguished Service Professor Clement A. Price.

TOMS RIVER –  President Abraham Lincoln, now proclaimed worldwide by many as one of America’s best presidents, wasn’t always so popular, said Rutgers University Distinguished Service Professor Clement A. Price.

Lincoln faced a Constitutional crisis during his presidency and the way he handled it did not please everybody, Price said.  That crisis revolved around three questions:

Was emancipation legal?

Could states secede from the Union?

Could Lincoln suspend habeas corpus to successfully prosecute the war?

Price’s lecture explored Lincoln’s struggle and motivation to meet the political and constitutional challenges of the Civil War.

Lincoln pursued a risky path that combined his war powers as commander in chief and his constitutional authority as President to make changes that has resulted in our modern United States of America, said Price.

Price opened a six-week National Endowment for the Humanities-funded display and speakers series at Ocean County Library’s Toms River branch, 101 Washington St., Thursday May 29.

The exhibit will have been displayed in 50 libraries throughout the county when it ends its four-year tour this December, said Chief Librarian Zarita Mattox, manager of the Toms River library branch.

The program series includes three other presentations and an ongoing screening of the

Ken Burns television documentary, “The Civil War,” throughout Monday and Thursdays in June.

Those three presentations will be held at the Toms River branch and include:

  • A live performance by Linda Turash Productions of “Mary Todd Lincoln: Pass My Imperfections Lightly By” 7 p.m. Tuesday June 3.
  • Chuck Winch and Lisa Wilkins perform Civil War era music 7 p.m. Wednesday June 18.
  • Toms River Township Historian Mark Mutter will speak about “Lincoln and New Jersey, Ocean County and the Dover Rifles Group” 7 p.m. Wednesday June 25.

The programs are free and open to the public but registration is required. To register telephone the branch 732-349-6200 or 609-971-0514 or go to the library’s website www.theoceancountylibrary.org , click on the “Events & News” icon, then click on “Calendar of Events.”

The exhibit will be displayed until July 11, 2014.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War” is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the National Constitution Center.

Professor Price is published widely in African-American history as well as American Cultural policy and American urban history. Price shares his expertise in African American history as a member of the Scholarly Advisory Committee of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. He chaired President Obama’s transition team for the National Endowment for the Humanities and currently is Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at Rutgers University.

Price was appointed the City of Newark’s official historian in February and presented the key to the city, Newark’s highest honor, by Mayor Luis Quintana. Price was also named to chair the committee that will organize observances of the 350th anniversary of the city’s founding in May 2016.

Left to right: Library Commissioner Bonnie Peterson, Professor Clement A. Price, and Library Director Susan Quinn.

Left to right: Library Commissioner Bonnie Peterson, Professor Clement A. Price, and Library Director Susan Quinn.


Library Director Susan Quinn introduces Dr. Price at the opening reception for the NEH series "Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War."

Library Director Susan Quinn introduces Dr. Price at the opening reception for the NEH series “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.”

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