University of Nebraska-Lincoln history professor Kenneth Winkle will speak about the Civil War at the final Paul A. Olson Seminar in Great Plains Studies lecture of the spring semester. The talk, “Land of Cotton: Textiles and the Civil War,” is 3:30 p.m. April 15 at the Great Plains Art Museum.
Before the Civil War, cotton production represented the foundation of American economic development. Grown on slave plantations in the South and processed in textile mills in the North, cotton bound the two sections together but also held the potential to tear them apart.
The lecture tells the story of how the world’s insatiable demand for cotton cloth created an increasingly bitter conflict between the North and the South that ultimately impelled them toward civil war.
The date of the lecture, April 15, also marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death. Winkle is the award-winning Lincoln biographer and author of “Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C.” Winkle will speak while surrounded by the museum’s Civil War textiles exhibition, “Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War.”
The Great Plains Art Museum and Center for Great Plains Studies is at 1155 Q St. The talk is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the center’s website.
“Homefront and Battlefield” was organized by the American Textile History Museum with partial funding from The Coby Foundation, and additional support from the Stockman Family Foundation and Mass Humanities. It was brought to Nebraska by the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Upcoming event: At 3:30 p.m. April 16 Madelyn Shaw, one of the curators of the exhibition, will give an in-depth tour and gallery talk at the museum.