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Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Coordinator for
Court History and
Public Education Programs

Pho: 317.233.8682

Sarah Kidwell
Outreach Coordinator

Pho: 317.234.3055


Outstanding Public
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History

More Awards

Benjamin Harrison Day (Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2007) Benjamin Harrison Day (Fort Wayne, Indiana, 2007)

Ex-Parte Milligan in Fort Wayne, Indiana

This interactive dramatization was co-sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court's ‘Courts in the Classroom' project and The Lincoln Museum.

The Lincoln Museum hosted a special educational event about the Civil War activities of Fort Wayne-area resident Lambdin Milligan. Milligan opposed the Civil War especially the call for a draft--encouraging resistance with force if necessary. In 1864, he was found guilty of treason by a military tribunal and sentenced to death. After appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, his conviction was overturned. Milligan returned to Indiana and proceeded to sue those involved with his initial conviction. Famous Hoosiers involved in Milligan's case (and our re-enactment) include: Benjamin Harrison, Oliver P. Morton, Alvin Hovey, Thomas Hendricks, and General Benjamin Spooner.

The legal topics raised in this case are just as relevant in 2007 as they were in 1864. Issues such as habeas corpus, the jurisdiction of military courts, and freedom of speech during a war are topics hotly debated yet today. I hope you can join us at the museum for this brief, interactive re-enactment of all three of Milligan's legal proceedings. Students get to participate as soldiers, jurors, justices, and so forth. Students will also have the opportunity to talk with a member of Fort Wayne's legal community about the relevance of this case today.

The program is part of the educational offerings of the Indiana Supreme Court's educational outreach program, Courts in the Classroom, and is held each March as a part of the Benjamin Harrison Day program in the Court's Indianapolis courtroom. This is the first time it will be available in Northern Indiana! The program lasts approximately 45-60 minutes with a tour of the museum to follow.

The program was free to those schools touring the museum at a reduced school group price of $2.99/person, including teachers. To book seats at the program and tour the museum, please contact The Lincoln Museum education department at 455-5606 or 455-4517. For more information about the program, please contact Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn, Assistant to the Chief Justice for Court History and Public Education at (317) 233-8682 or via email at elizabeth.osborn@courts.IN.gov.

Get teacher resources and supporting materials for this production.

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