Lincoln and the Constitution
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series
Akhil Reed Amar, Elizabeth R. Varon
Tuesday, January 25, 2022 | 6:30–7:30 pm ET | $30 (Members $20; Chairman’s Council, Free)

Program Update: To help combat the spread of COVID-19, this program will now take place live on Zoom rather than in person.


Presented LIVE on Zoom

What did the U.S. Constitution, as it stood in the years leading up to the Civil War, say about slavery? This conversation reexamines the history of the document and its many interpretations—with special attention to Abraham Lincoln’s usage of the nation’s supreme legal document to expand protections for enslaved people and ultimately abolish slavery. Join us for a riveting discussion about one of the most important relationships in history: Lincoln and the Constitution.

Akhil Reed Amar, a New-York Historical Society trustee, is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and the author of The Words That Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840. Elizabeth R. Varon is Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia and the author of Armies of Deliverance:  A New History of the Civil War.

Sponsored by:


By phone: Contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open
9 am–5 pm daily.
Online: Click on the “Buy Tickets” button at the top of this page.

To request Chairman's Council tickets, or to inquire about the Chairman's Council, email

Registration by phone closes at 3 pm the date of the program. Registration online closes at the program start time.


This program will be presented live via Zoom, an easy-to-use video conferencing platform.

The day before the program, a member of New-York Historical’s staff will contact all registered attendees from the email address with instructions on how to view the livestream. An additional reminder will be sent within two hours of the program start time. If you do not receive a message, please check your spam folder.


Advance purchase is required to guarantee participation. All sales are final; refunds and exchanges are not permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change.

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