Peter Dickson addresses "Lincoln and His Kenyon Men"
Peter Dickson, an independent scholar who recently published Old Kenyon and Lincoln's Kenyon Men, will draw on the extensive research he conducted for his book in a Common Hour lecture titled "Lincoln and His Kenyon Men" on Thursday, February 12—Lincoln's birthday—at 11:10 a.m. in Philomathesian Hall. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing.
In the introduction to Old Kenyon and Lincoln's Kenyon Men, Dickson says that Kenyon can lay claim to the title of "America's most historic college" by virtue of the close connections between Abraham Lincoln and various Kenyon alumni and others associated with both the sixteenth president and the College. Included are two members of the cabinet, Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton of the Class of 1834 and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Portland Chase, nephew of Kenyon founder Philander Chase and one of the bishop's students at his school in Worthington. Among the others Dickson cites are such famous graduates as David Davis of the Class of 1832, a U.S. senator and Supreme Court justice who earlier served as Lincoln's campaign manager, along with such lesser-known ones as Davis' cousin, Henry Winter Davis of the Class of 1837, a U.S. congressman who played a key role in keeping Maryland in the Union.
In addition to describing these men and their ties to Lincoln, Dickson will discuss the College's ties to the Republican Party in the years following the Civil War. He will also address the remaking of Kenyon in the years following the Crash of 1929, when the Republican Party came to be identified not with Lincoln but with Herbert Hoover.
A native of Mount Vernon and a 1969 alumnus of Kenyon, Dickson majored in history and graduated magna cum laude, earning highest honors in history and a Phi Beta Kappa key. He went on to receive master of arts degrees at the University of Michigan and Georgetown University and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University. After many years of service with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was a senior intelligence advisor specializing in military and political analysis, Dickson retired to devote himself to his historical interests, which have ranged from Christopher Columbus to William Shakespeare. He is also the author of Kissinger and the Meaning of History (1977).