November 06, 2013 | 08:21 AM
Dan Bays, county historian, and other volunteers continue to run the Civil War exhibit in the downtown Emporium, featuring all sorts of relics from the Battle of Corydon and currently features a "Looking at Lincoln: Political Cartoons from the Civil War Era" display.
In an age before radio, television and the Internet, many Americans received news and expressed their opinions about politicians and presidents through newspapers. Political cartoons appeared in newspapers and were sold individually as prints in shops on street corners and by mail.
These cartoons are vivid, sharp and offensive to some viewers. But, they invite viewers to put aside 21st-century assumptions and look at events through the eyes of people living in the era. Artists and citizens who created these images lived in a century in which racism was deeply ingrained in American life. Even ardent abolitionists who fought to end slavery often took little account of its implication for race relations.
At the beginning of the 21st century, as Americans continue to debate the legacy of slavery, these cartoons provide a historical point of reference for current events.
The Lincoln cartoon display will remain on exhibit through November.
Since opening in June, Bays said more than 1,000 people have visited the exhibit, which has also included the "My Brother, My Enemy" and "Faces of Lincoln" displays.
The exhibit, and the town itself, received quite a bit of traffic this summer because July 9 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Corydon, one of only two historical recognized Civil War battles on northern soil, the other being Gettysburg.
Bays said he has more ideas for December and the exhibit will be open at least until the end of the year. It will be open prior to and during the Light Up Corydon event on the town square Saturday, Nov. 30.
Bays also said a Christmas event is in the works for the Battle of Corydon Memorial Park and he hopes to create a Facebook page for the park and other historical aspects of the county.