On Saturday, October 1st, Marilyn Swezey presented “The Tsar and the President: Alexander II and Abraham Lincoln” as a part of the Russian History Museum’s Second Saturday online lecture series.
Tsar Alexander II of Russia and President Abraham Lincoln both profoundly influenced the destinies of their respective nations. What were relations like between the autocratic ruler of a centuries-old empire and the elected president of a young democracy?
Marilyn Swezey examined the relationship of these two national leaders, their cordial correspondence, their parallel endeavors (the emancipation of serfs in Russia and the end of slavery in the U.S.) and their common tragic fate. Swezey spoke about the visit of Russian imperial naval squadrons to New York and San Francisco during the Civil War as a demonstration of Russia’s support of the Union.