BETHEL — University of Southern Maine Emeritus Professor Draper Hunt of South Portland will deliver the 18th annual Hall Memorial Lecture as the first event of the 2009 Sudbury Canada Days, summer heritage festival of the Bethel Historical Society, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, in the meeting room of the Dr. Moses Mason House.

As this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Lincoln’s first vice president, Maine’s Hannibal Hamlin, born at Paris Hill on Aug. 27, 1809, it seems particularly appropriate to commemorate the historic milestone.

Hunt is the author of a biography of Hamlin. A graduate of Harvard University, Hunt received his MA and PhD from Columbia University. He has lectured and published on the middle period of American history.

Hamlin served in the Maine Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, briefly as Maine’s governor and finally returned to the U.S. Senate before joining Lincoln on the 1860 Republican ticket. Hamlin began his political career as a Democrat, but his anti-slavery beliefs moved him in the 1850s into the newly established Republican party.

Hunt will discuss Hamlin’s vice presidency and provide some perspective on why he failed to be renominated in 1864. The lecture is free and open to all.

The lecture honors the memory of society members Ralph and Marion Hall, who left a bequest that has provided funds to support the event each year. The Hall Lecture Fund makes it possible for scholars in New England history to visit the society annually.

More information about the society and its activities may be obtained by calling 824-2908 or 800-824-2910, e-mailing [email protected] or visiting

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