2025 ALP Conference - Kalamazoo, MI

The Association of Lincoln Presenters

The Association of Lincoln Presenters
2025 ALP Conference
April 24-27, 2025
Kalamazoo, MI

A Gathering of Lincoln Presenters: We are looking forward to seeing YOU in KalamaZOO!

Date: April 24-27, 2025

The ALP’s 2025 Annual Conference – our 29th – will be held from Thursday evening, April 24 through Sunday morning, April 27 in Kalamazoo, MI.  Not only is Kalamazoo the only place in Michigan where Abraham Lincoln made a public appearance and gave a speech, but his trip there in 1856 was the only time he left Illinois during a nearly two-year period when the political landscape of the nation was being transformed.

In recent years there has been a strong local movement in Kalamazoo to commemorate Lincoln’s 1856 visit and build upon his legacy of character, achievement, and leadership.  This effort has been spearheaded by the non-profit Kalamazoo Lincoln Institute (“KLI”) under the theme of “Bring Lincoln Back to Kalamazoo”.  Among other things, a statue of Lincoln was installed in Bronson Park, the site of Lincoln’s speech, in August 2023.  In addition to the KLI, other local organizations which are expected to collaborate in bringing the ALP to Kalamazoo are Discover Kalamazoo (the CVB), the Kalamazoo County Historical Society, and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.  Our conference will “bring Lincoln back to Kalamazoo” in a way they never imagined!

Kalamazoo is a mid-sized city (population 75,000; metro area 335,000) which is easily accessible from other locations in the Midwest.  It is located halfway between Detroit and Chicago on Interstate 94 and is served by air, train, and bus.

Our conference hotel will be the Home2 Suites by Hilton, located downtown.  This relatively new hotel (opened in 2021) features spacious rooms, free breakfast, and a fitness center and pool.  It is conveniently located near sites that we will visit as well as the AMTRAK (train) and Greyhound (bus) stations.

The final line-up of sessions and speakers hasn’t been determined yet, but all of the following are under consideration:

*Lincoln’s 1856 Visit to Kalamazoo: a lecture by Tom George (KLI VP) which gives insights into Lincoln’s political strategy Lincoln’s political strategy at both a personal and party level (even who had tea with!);

*Lincoln and Indian Affairs: a lecture, most likely by a university history professor and/or author, delving into this very important, timely, and sensitive topic;

*Lincoln’s Winning Smile: a lecture by Cameron Brown (KLI President) about Lincoln’s humanity and empathy;

*The Underground Railroad: a visit to a nearby historical site and/or a lecture; for many escaping slaves, Michigan was the last stop before reaching freedom in Canada;

*Sojourner Truth: a historical portrayal and/or a visit to her monument in nearby Battle Creek (when Sojourner Truth visited Lincoln at the White House in 1864, she traveled from her home in Battle Creek);

*[for the ladies?] a lecture on Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, an American socialite of the 19th century and sister-in-law to Napoleon;

*[for the gentlemen?] Civil War Engineers: a lecture by a re-enactor with the 1st Michigan Engineers; and

*Jackson, MI: a possible side trip to this city, about one hour away and the site of the first state convention of the Republican Party.

We also hope to have one or more events intentionally designed to engage the local public; ideas under consideration include:

*a theatrical performance in which a series of Abraham and Mary Lincoln portrayers tell the life stories of the Lincolns;

*trivia with the Lincolns: teams consisting of ALP members mixed with people from the community;

*reading with the Lincolns at local libraries; and

*a Civil War Ball.

We will of course have all of our regular conference items such as the annual business meeting, a silent auction (perhaps also a consignment shop), time set aside for fellowship and relaxation, and a church service on Sunday morning.

Questions and suggestions may be directed to your ALP conference host, Kevin Wood.  We are looking forward to seeing YOU in KalamaZOO!

2025 ALP Conference - Kalamazoo, MI
2025 Abraham Lincoln Presenters Convention - Kalamazoo, MI
Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Institute
Kalamazoo Home2 Suites - 2025 ALP Convention Host Hotel