A trio of Civil War era historic figures graced Fayette Campus on Tuesday, February 28. With the
help of three modern-day impersonators, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. C.C. (Charles Coleman) Parker and David B. Henderson provided a public presentation in the Student Center. Earlier, Lincoln visited the University Archives at Henderson-Wilder Library.
The former U.S. President was actually portrayed by professional Lincoln impersonator Kevin Wood of Oak Park, Illinois. Meanwhile, Dr. Richard E. Bleil, dean of the UIU School of Science and Mathematics, and Chad Cook, UIU director of Military and Veteran Services, played the roles of Dr. Parker and Henderson, respectively.
As part of the historical presentation, Lincoln discussed his life from growing up in Kentucky and Indiana to becoming an Illinois lawyer and entering the realm of politics, before becoming the nation’s 16th president and leading the United States through its Civil War. He also introduced Parker and Henderson to the audience.
Parker joined the 12th Iowa Infantry Regiment (University Recruits) during the Civil War as a regimental surgeon. In addition to serving as UIU’s first science faculty member and as a Board of Trustee member, he was Fayette’s first town doctor. He also served as an expert witness in Lincoln’s Almanac Trial. Similarly, Henderson attended UIU in 1861 before joining the University Recruits. After being discharged in February 1863 as a result of wounds from multiple battles, Henderson studied law. The Clermont, Iowa, native was eventually elected as the first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi.
Lincoln completed his visit by presenting “From a Birth of Freedom to a New Birth of Freedom” Tuesday evening at the Fayette Community Library.