John Cribb, best-selling author and South Carolina native, is the featured speaker for the February Conversation at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center at noon Wednesday, Feb. 1. The talk will be all about Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is Feb. 12.
Cribb is the perfect choice to lead a discussion about Lincoln, our 16th president. He has published two historical fiction books on Lincoln, “Old Abe” and “The Rail Splitter.”
“I’m looking forward to being in Lancaster to talk about Abraham Lincoln, including the years before he was president, which in many ways were, I think, the most fascinating part of his life. The story of his growing up on the frontier and finding his way in life is incredibly inspiring,” Cribb said. “It’s also important because it’s the story of who we are as an American people, or who we aspire to be.”
Cribb’s fascination and love of Lincoln began in elementary school when he read about Lincoln growing up on the frontier.
“Old Abe,” published Sept. 15, 2020, explores the last five years of Lincoln’s life, including his election in 1860 and the Civil War. Cribb shows the emotional struggle not readily available in non-fiction books. He takes you inside the heart and mind of Lincoln as the president tries to bring the divided country back together, even as his wife’s three brothers fought for the Confederate army.
“Old Abe” received unsolicited high praise from Mike Pence, the former vice president, who personally called Cribb and told him, “ ‘Old Abe’ is the best book on President Lincoln I have ever read. It is deeply inspiring.” Pence hails from Indiana, which was the boyhood home of Lincoln.
“The Rail Splitter,” just published Tuesday, Jan. 24, covers the years before the presidency, offering readers a chance to understand the man by knowing the boy. It’s a coming-of-age story, a rags-to-riches story, and a love story. Cribb takes you on a journey from a log cabin in Kentucky to the White House. Cribb said he worked on both novels on and off for a dozen years.
“That means it took three times as long to write the darned things than it did for Lincoln to win the Civil War,” he noted.
Cribb has a relaxed, unassuming air and is a great storyteller. He has written about subjects ranging from history to education. He has appeared on many TV, radio and podcast shows, including C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” and Fox News’ ”Fox & Friends.” His writing has been published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, FoxNews.com, The Hill, Real Clear Politics and other publications.
Cribb and his wife live in Spartanburg and have two daughters in college.His books will be available for purchase at the event.
More Conversations coming
Organizer John Craig was excited to share his observations on the CAC Conversations.
“We now have the monthly Conversations fully scheduled for 2023 and even have a great start on the 2024 schedule,” Craig said. “People seem to be really enjoying these events and the turnout is strong. Every speaker is different, knowledge-building and entertaining in their own way.”
The lecture series, which features authors, researchers, civic leaders and entrepreneurs, relies on donations to the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation. Donations can be mailed to LCSHP, 1859 Craig Farm Road, Lancaster, SC 29720; or made online at lcshp.org.
The Cultural Arts Center is housed in the Old Presbyterian Church at 307 W. Gay St. The old church was built three years before Lincoln died. The free noontime lectures are held on the first Wednesday of each month.
The next lecture is March 1 and features Ernest Jenkins, Robert Folks and Gavin Witherspoon. In “Gone But Not Forgotten: Who’s Who in the Historic Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery,” the local historians will talk about many of the people buried in the graveyard next to the CAC.
For more information on the Cultural Arts Center and Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, visit www.lcshp.org.