Warren F. Chauncey Lecture Series in American History

The Warren F. Chauncey Lecture Series in American History features renowned historians, authors, and public officials on a range of topics pertaining to American history.

William Thomas
William G. Thomas III is a professor of history and the John and Catherine Angle Chair in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska.

On Thursday, February 22, the Foundation presented the 2024 Warren F. Chauncey Lecture Series in American History featuring historian William G. Thomas III. Thomas delivered a lecture entitled “Dred Scott’s America: Law and Freedom from Virginia to Upper Mississippi.” In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Dred Scott case, shocking Americans and fueling the national crisis over slavery. Thomas explored the story of this landmark case and the continental struggle over slavery, sovereignty, and citizenship in the years leading up to the Civil War.

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Previous Chauncey Speakers

Douglas Bradburn, president and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon and author of The Citizenship Revolution: Politics and the Creation of the American Union, 1774-1804, delivered a lecture entitled “Untrodden Ground: The Strategic Leadership of George Washington.”

William Hitchcock, a 20th century historian, UVA professor, and director of the Foundation’s Governing America in Global Era initiative (or GAGE), delivered a talk on his most recent book The Age of Eisenhower: American and the World in the 1950s.

General Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps and 1975 graduate of UVA, delivered a talk on military leadership from a historic perspective.

Gary Gallagher, history professor and director of UVA’s Nau Civil War Center, delivered a talk entitled “How Americans Remembered the Civil War.”

Ed Ayers, president emeritus of University of Richmond and former dean of UVA’s College of Arts & Sciences, presented a lecture entitled “The Mystery of Emancipation and Reconstruction.” Ayers is a distinguished scholar of the American South and co-host of BackStory with the American History Guys, a nationally syndicated radio show and podcast.