LIVERMORE — The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore will host independent historical researcher and author Michael Hill at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Washburn Memorial Library. Hill will share the story of Livermore’s Elihu Washburne.

Washburne grew up at the Norlands and rose from a hardscrabble existence to become a confidante of Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War and an American diplomat who aided his countrymen when Paris was devastated by war and revolution in 1870-71, according to a news release.

In the book, he provides essential background information and historical context to the excerpts from Washburne’s diary and letters, drawn from the original manuscript sources from the archives at Norlands and other repositories and collected into one volume for the first time. Through his own words, the reader comes to know and admire Washburne as he struggles to stay alive, perform his duty and not let his country down.

Hill was a co-producer for Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” series for PBS, a coordinating producer for the “Baseball” series.

The Washburn-Norlands Living History Center is located at 290 Norlands Road in Livermore. Books will be available for sale. Visitors are asked to park in the parking lot near the church on the Norlands’ campus. The library is a short walk from the parking area.

The event is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted. For more information, call 897-4366 or visit

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