Lincoln Scholar David Long To Be Featured Speaker For The BB&T Heritage Lecture in American History

Wilson, N.C. – Barton College is pleased to welcome renowned historian and Lincoln scholar Dr. David E. Long as the featured speaker for the upcoming BB&T Heritage Lecture in American History scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20.  Dr. Long’s lecture is titled “Lincoln, Davis, and the Civil War: The Dahlgren Raid.”  Scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Hardy Alumni Hall, this program is open to the public free of charge and the community is invited to attend.  Sponsors for the evening include BB&T, the Barton College Heritage Committee, the Department of History and Social Sciences at Barton College, and the Wilson County Historical Association.

In the upcoming lecture, Dr. Long will address a controversial cavalry raid on Richmond in 1864 that involved Lincoln in an attempt to assassinate Jefferson Davis.

Twelve years background as a trial lawyer and prosecutor give Dr. Long a somewhat unique perspective on Lincoln among the community of scholars who have written about the sixteenth president. Dr. Long understands the meaning of what it is to “think like a lawyer” and, to understand Lincoln, one must be able to understand that the man’s career had been in advocacy, and that he was able to serve that role from either side of the bar.

Graduating from the Ohio State University in 1969 and the OSU College of Law in 1972, Dr. Long began his career as a lawyer. His first courtroom appearance as counsel of record was in a first-degree murder case in 1973. Though his client was innocent, the jury found him otherwise, and the judge sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment. Refusing to accept that such an injustice could be permitted to stand, Dr. Long pursued the trail of evidence in the case and ultimately learned the identity of the real killer.  After a difficult appeal process, he was eventually able to get the court to award a new trial. At that second trial, Dr. Long was able to establish his client’s innocence by proving the guilt of someone else. Nearly three years after his client was first arrested and charged, the wrongfully imprisoned defendant was found not guilty by the second jury, and gained back the freedom that had previously been forfeited as a result of a life sentence.

Dr. Long practiced law for 12 years before returning to graduate school in 1987 at Florida State University, where he earned his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. in nineteenth century American history, and almost immediately published his dissertation “The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election and the End of Slavery.” The book was nominated for five of the most prestigious prizes in the field of U.S. history, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Lincoln Prize.

For additional information about the program, please contact Dr. Jeff Broadwater, chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences, at 252-399-6443 or email:


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: