Abraham Lincoln, The Pragmatic Leader
Frank J. Williams, one of the country's most renowned Abraham Lincoln collectors, talked about the "evolving commander in chief" during a program co-sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries and SMU's Center for Presidential History. Due to overwhelming public response, reservations were closed well in advance of the September 12 event, which DeGolyer Library also co-sponsored in conjunction with the "Hail to the Chief: Presidential History in Word and Image" exhibit. Williams took the capacity crowd in Dallas Hall's McCord Auditorium on a journey through Lincoln's decision-making processes during the most troubled time in our nation's history. Above all, Lincoln was a pragmatist, Williams said. As the Civil War dragged on, the president regularly took the pulse of his generals and the nation to accomplish what he believed was best for the country. Williams, a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, is a prolific author and speaker. He and his wife have created the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, one of the largest such collections in the country, dedicated to preserving materials related to Lincoln and his presidency.