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Of the People, By the People, For the People


During the 2017-2018 season, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum was proud to present "Of the People, By the People, and For the People," a discussion series on modern citizenship explored through the words of Abraham Lincoln. This project was funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Through six separate, guided public conversations, the program sought to forge common connections and a positive dialogue about citizenship and its responsibilities. To many, Abraham Lincoln illustrates the value and responsibilities of citizenship. Individuals on both sides of the political spectrum claim Lincoln as their own. This fact presents an opportunity for the community to use the life and ideals of the former president as a starting point for constructive discussion about modern thoughts on citizenship. Each session concluded with audience members sharing their thoughts with one another, asking questions, and voicing observations on topics such as politics at the local, state, and national levels, as well as subjects such as voting rights and public leadership.

Classrooms and communities are invited to use the free conversation kit that the Museum created for this program to facilitate their own conversations on citizenship. The topics covered within the kit are based on Lincoln Memorial University’s LNCN 100 and 300 courses, which teach students about Lincoln’s life, service, and leadership.

Today, the "Of the People, By the People, For the People" program continues in the form of public programming, voter registration assistance, citizenship education, and a traveling exhibit. Read on to learn about this museum initiative.

Conversation Kit

Below you will find a conversation kit for all six discussions tied to "Of the People, By the People, For the People." The kit is divided into separate files for ease of printing. Each conversation can be used separately for conversation or as a part of an extended conversation. 

Introduction to Program and Table of Contents

Discussion One: An Introduction to Lincoln and Citizenship

Discussion Two: The Right to Vote

Discussion Three: Citizenship at the Local Level

Discussion Four: Citizenship at the State Level

Discussion Five: Citizenship at the National Level

Discussion Six: The Citizen as Public Servant

Founding Documents

Of the People, By the People, For the People Facilitator's Guide


Below are posters that can be used to advertise this conversation series within your community. If you do end up using any of the provided materials, the museum would appreciate receiving any questions you might have and/or your feedback at

Poster with Topic Titles 

Poster to be Edited by User


Voter Registration

As a part of both the museum and university mission statements, the ALLM is dedicated to informing Tennesseans of how they can become more active participants within their local communities. In addition to providing resources on learning about citizenship, museum staff can also assist you in checking your voter registration or registering to vote. Special events are also held throughout the year to register voters, and these resources can also be requested by local high schools. Please contact Program Coordinator Susan Parker ( to bring the museum's traveling exhibit, "Of the People, By the People, For the People," and voter registration materials to your school.

Traveling Exhibit

 The three-panel exhibit "Of the People, By the People, For the People" is available for display at locations where museum staff assist in the voter registration process. It includes panels on Lincoln as a leader, 19th-century views on civic participation, and the Civil War amendments. To request both this exhibit and the accompanying voter registration resources from the museum, please contact Program Coordinator Susan Parker (