Sunday, February 9 at 4:00 pm

Sunday Speaker Series: James B. Conroy, Author of Our One Common Country

Conroy-book cover

Join us on Sunday, February 9, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. for a talk by James B. Conroy, author of the new book, Our One Common Country.

In February 1865, Abraham Lincoln slipped quietly out of the White House and traveled south to Virginia to meet Confederate leaders on a steamboat at Hampton Roads.  Their goal was a peaceful end to the Civil War.

Our One Common Country tells their story, the first book ever written about the only presidential peace mission in America’s wartime history.

Shedding new light on Lincoln, Davis, the powerful men and influential women around them, the tragedy of the Civil War, and its meaning for the intractable political wars of our own troubled times, Our One Common Country tells the fascinating story of how Lincoln and his contemporaries tried to break the political logjams in Washington and Richmond, find a peaceful compromise, save tens of thousands of lives, and change American history.

This event is free and open to the public.  Books will be available for purchase.



James B. Conroy has been a trial lawyer in Boston for 32 years. Our One Common Country  is his first book, born of a love of history and a lifelong ambition to contribute to it.

Conroy earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut in political science and history and served for six years as a photographer and a journalist in anti-submarine aviation units in the United States Navy Reserve. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, he worked as a writer and editor for public interest advocacy groups in Washington D.C., as Press Secretary for an Iowa congressman, as chief speechwriter for the President of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, as Press Secretary for the United States Senate Committee on the Budget, and as chief of staff for a New York City congressman.

While working on Capitol Hill, Conroy earned a master’s degree in international relations at George Washington University and a law degree, magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center.

In 1982, Conroy moved to Hingham, Massachusetts with his wife, Lynn (now employed in a staff position at Harvard University) and their two-year-old daughter, Erin, who has lately returned to Washington as a mother and a lawyer with her own new family. Conroy began his legal career as a commercial litigator with one of Boston’s oldest law firms and left as a partner in 1991 to co-found Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar, LLP, now one of the city’s leading litigation firms.  His legal writing has appeared in the Massachusetts Law Journal and the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. His son, Scott, co-authored Sarah from Alaska, a Boston Globe best-seller, after working as a 26 year-old CBS News reporter covering Sarah Palin’s 2008 vice presidential campaign.

Conroy has chaired the Town of Hingham’s Government Study Committee, its Task Force on Affordability, and its Advisory Committee, which counsels the Hingham Town Meeting, an exercise in direct democracy through which the town has governed itself since 1635, well before Conroy’s time.

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