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Wednesdays, April 22 – May 6 (3 weeks), 7:00 – 8:30 pm – 

Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis were born less than 8 months and 100 miles apart. By beliefs and temperament, they may as well have lived continents apart. These two men became the most important representatives of their political parties, economic systems, and national regions by the start of the Civil War, and the gulf between them would consume the country and cost over 620,000 lives. What happened between 1848 and 1860 that finally shattered the fragile nation? By comparing the lives of Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, we can contextualize pre-Civil War America and understand why conflict was inevitable. Join us for a three-week examination of the lives and politics of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and the people who led and followed them into the abyss of the Civil War.

Instructor: Chuck Heaton is an Army veteran who completed two tours of duty in Iraq. After leaving the military, he received his MA in early American and early modern European history at Texas A&M University and did his Ph.D. work at Rutgers University, studying cultures of violence in Puritan New England. He currently lives in Longmeadow with his wife, two children, and a Border Collie.

Cost: $45 JCC members, $60 general public