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Author’s Note

After 20 years, I have decided to end my tenure as Lincolniana Editor, with the Spring 2018 issue of the The Lincoln Herald (two issues hence) but will remain Literary Editor to assist Editors Thomas Turner, Steven Wilson and Jonathan Smallwood. This is bittersweet, as I have enjoyed staying up-to-date on Lincoln and Civil War news and sharing it with you – our readers.  It has been gratifying and the avenue to meet many new friends.  I am particularly grateful to the staff at The Lincoln Herald and all those who have, over the years, contributed news items for this column.  Special thanks to William D. Pederson and Harold Holzer for their edits in almost every issue as well as Lincoln Memorial University for allowing this column to also appear on The Lincoln Forum  and Abraham Lincoln Bicentenial Foundation websites.    Thomas Horrocks, 11 A Brewer Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 ( has agreed to continue with this column beginning with the summer 2018 issue.  I hope you will give him your support and provide him with news for his column.  Thank you for your support of all things related to Abraham Lincoln.



The Spoken Word and Group Activities

John McKay discussed “Civil War and Civil Liberties–A Painful Legacy?” at the meeting of the Puget Sound Civil War Round Table on January 11.

Robert Maher and his Civil War Education Association hosted the 2018 Sarasota Civil War Symposium from January 18 to January 20 with presentations by:  Richard M. McMurry (“Jeff’s Choice: A new Commander of the Army of Tennessee”); Harold Holzer (“Too Vast for Malice:” Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Forgiveness); Brian Steel Wills (“The Glorious Passages: Non-Combat Mortality in the Civil War”); Robert N. Macomber (“Florida’s Naval Civil War: Blockades, Rebel Smugglers, International Incidents and Amphibious Raiders”); James I. “Bud” Robertson (“Is it Time to Get Rid of Robert E. Lee?”); Norman Dasinger, Jr. (“Nathan Bedford Forrest vs. Abel Streight and the Lightning Mule Brigade”); Frank J. Williams (“Justice and Injustice after the Civil War”); Janice McKay (“Adventures in Researching Your Ancestors: Some Tales and Tips”); Edwin C. Bearss (“Lee Escapes Across the Potomac After Gettysburg”); Joseph T. Glatthaar (“The Curious Relationship Between Lincoln and McClellan”); and William C. “Jack” Davis (“Fake History in the Age of Fake News”).

On January 21, HistoryMiami Museum hosted its 9th Annual Presidential Symposium, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt: Lessons in Leadership, with a conversation between Harold Holzer and Craig L. Symonds, “Leadership in Crisis: The Parallel Legacies of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt,” and a panel discussion moderated by Frank J. Williams, “The Law at War: Military Justice and Justice in the Civil War in World War II,” with Craig L. Symonds, Tameka Bradley Hobbs, and Harold Holzer.

Debra Miller presented “Mrs. Lincoln’s Salon” as part of the Lincoln at the Library series at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, on January 21.  Roger Billings delivered “Lincoln, The Power of Pardon, and the 1862 Sioux Uprising” at the Library on April 22.

James Tackach spoke about “Lincoln and the 14th Amendment” at the February 10th meeting of The Lincoln Group of Boston.

Books on the Square, at its grand opening in Springfield, Illinois, February 9-12, featured author discussions featuring Richard Carwardine, author of Lincoln a Life of Purpose and Power and Jason Emerson, author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln and Giant in the Shadows: Robert T. Lincoln.

Guy Fraker spoke about his new book, Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit, for the Abraham Lincoln AssociationBenjamin P. Thomas Symposium on February 11, 2018.  Kate Masur spoke about John E. Washington, the first African American to publish a book on Lincoln (They Knew Lincoln, 1942) at the Thomas Symposium on February 12.

The George L. Painter Looking for Lincoln Lectures at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, in Springfield, on February 12 featured Erika Holst (“Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Historic Houses of Lincoln’s Illinois “), Guy C. Fraker, Esquire, (“Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: A Guide to Lincoln’s Eighth Judicial Circuit”), and Bryon Andreasen (“Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Lincoln’s Springfield”).

Jason Emerson spoke about “Mary Lincoln for the Ages: She is not the Woman we think she is” at the Doctor Thomas F. Schwartz luncheon and lecture on February 12 in Springfield.

Richard Carwardine, Lincoln Prize-winning author of Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power and Lincoln’s Sense of Humor, was the February 12 annual banquet speaker for the Abraham Lincoln Association.

Manisha Sinha delivered the keynote address on “Lincoln and Abolition” at the 86th Watchorn Dinner of the Lincoln Memorial Shrine at the University of Redlands (CA) on February 12.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars honored Abraham Lincoln’s legacy at its annual pilgrimage to the Lincoln Tomb on February 12.

On February 15, Sidney Blumenthal, author of Wrestling with His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II, 1849-1856, presented “Lincoln at the Creation–The Bloomington Convention of 1856” at the Lincoln Group of New York.

“The Lincoln-Douglas(s) Debates: Known and Unknown” with Harold Holzer as moderator, Phil Darius Wallace portraying Frederick Douglass, Tim Connors interpreting Stephen A. Douglas, and George Buss interpreting President Abraham Lincoln was performed at the National Archives on February 22.

Frank J. Williams presented the keynote at the Newport Reading Room 28th Annual Presidents’ Night Dinner on February 23 (“Lincoln and His Legacy: The Fight for the 13th Amendment”).

On March 7, Mississippi State University Mitchell Memorial Library hosted the John F. and Jeanne A. Marszalek Library Fund and Lecture Series.  Charles W. Calhoun presented, “The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant: Myths and Realities.” Ryan P. Semmes was the recipient of the 2018 Marszalek Graduate Student Award and spoke about “The Two Hirams: Hiram R. Revels, Ulysses S. Grant, and the Annexation of Santo Domingo.”

The Clark County (OH) Historical Society Civil War Symposium was held in Springfield, OH on March 10.  Dr. Paul (“Ski”) Schanher hosted, along with the Springfield Heritage Center Executive Director, Roger C. Sherrock.  Participants included Frank J. Williams (“Reconstruction: What Went Wrong?”), Jared Peatman (“Twentieth Maine to Gettysburg”), and D. Scott Hartwig (“The Bachelder Paper”).  Steve and Lisa Ball provided Civil War music and Thomas Taylor moderated a panel discussion with the participants.

Speakers at the Abraham Lincoln Institute Annual Symposium on March 17 included: Anna Gibson Holloway (“‘It Strikes Me There’s Something In It’: Lincoln, the Monitor, and Popular Memory”), William C. Harris (“Lincoln, Congress and the Cabinet Crisis of 1862”), Richard Carwardine (“Abraham Lincoln’s Humor: A Double-Edged Sword”), Stanley Harrold (“Lincoln and the Abolitionist”), and Walter Stahr (“Stanton, the Lincoln Assassination, the Aftermath”).  Professor Carwardine was unable to attend; his paper was read by a substitute speaker.

George Buss appeared as Abraham Lincoln at the annual meeting of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin on April 8.

On April 13, the Fourth Annual Lincoln Ideas Forum (“We Can Not Escape History”) featured Jennifer Mendelsohn, David Young, Jonathan Blanks, Catherine Clinton, and Daryl Davis discussing the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second annual message to Congress in 1862, “We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.”

The Lincoln Group of the District of Columba hosted Lincoln and D.C. Emancipation on April 14 with John T. Elliff discussing “Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass” and John O’Brien addressing “Washington’s Role in the American Year of Jubilee.”

Guy Fraker addressed the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin at its annual meeting on April 14.

Ken Burns was the keynote speaker for the Lincoln Institute of Lincoln Memorial University on April 17 in Knoxville.

Nicholas J. C. Pistor discussed his latest book, Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century, at The Lincoln Group of New York meeting on April 18.

William Hanna talked about “Lincoln in Science” at the April 21 meeting of the Lincoln Group of Boston.

On May 15, Lincoln artist Wendy Allen presented the 7th Annual Rolland Lecture to the Friends of the Lincoln Collection at the Adams County Public Library, Fort Wayne.  On April 22, Roger Billings delivered “Lincoln, The Power of the Pardon, and the 1862 Sioux Uprising.”

Frank J. Williams presented “Justice and Injustice after the Civil War” at the annual meeting of the Brandywine Civil War Round Table on June 14.  He was also the dedication speaker of Captain Lincoln, a new sculpture by Freeport, IL artist R. J. Castro on June 23.

Harold Holzer spoke on June 25 at The Oklahoma Civil War Symposium, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, on “Lincoln and the Press: Master or Monster?” Carol Sheriff lectured on death in the Civil War and James Finck, host scholar, on the lost art of political compromise.

The Mississippi Book Festival was held in Jackson on August 18 and featured a panel on Ulysses S. Grant.  Frank J. Williams was moderator and panelists included John F. Marszalek, Jonathan White, and Charles Calhoun.

The 23rd Annual Lincoln Forum Symposium held in Gettysburg on November 16-18, Lincoln and the Civil War in Fact, Fiction, and Memory, featured: Edward Ayers (“Gettysburg and the Web of War”); Andrew Delbanco (“The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for the Soul of America”); Frank J. Williams (“With Charity for Some: Pardons and Clemency after the Civil War”); John F. Marszalek and Craig L. Symonds (“Lincoln in the Grant Memoirs”); Harold Holzer (“The Making of the Lincoln Memorial”); George Saunders (“Lincoln in the Bardo”); Nicholas J. C. Pistor (“Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner”); Kate Masur (“They Knew Lincoln: Reconsidering a Lost Classic”); and David W. Blight (“Lincoln and Frederick Douglass”).  The panel “Women in the Civil War” included Candice Shy Hooper, Kate Masur, Edna Greene Medford, and Catherine Clinton as moderator.  The panel on “The Lincoln Forum at 23: Looking Back and Looking forward” featured Frank J. Williams and Harold Holzer.

Clemson University and Vernon Burton hosted the conference Lincoln’s Unfinished Work from November 28 to December 1.

International Legacy

The 35th Annual Washington Mini-Semester sponsored by the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University Shreveport was held on May 10-26.  It is the oldest Washington “semester” at a public university in the South.  One of the participants, Luola Starks, “DC gets right with the African American Experience,” saw her lecture published in the Shreveport Sun on June 21.

The annual Constitutional Democracy Lecture at the International Lincoln Center will be delivered by Norman W. Provizer, Professor of Political Science and founding director of the Golda Meir Center for Political Leadership at Metropolitan State University of Denver.  His topic is “The Darkening Hour: Celebrating the Constitution and Facing the Challenges to Constitutional Government.”  It will be held on September 17.

William D. Pederson authored three more articles for the Americana Philatelic News: “Lincoln Stamps in Oceania (Parts 1-3)” in volumes 238-240.

The International Lincoln Center’s 11th triennial Deep South Conference will be held on October 18-20.  This year’s topic will be “Great Legislators and Legislation” featuring 35 scholars from across the nation and abroad discussing the greatest legislative accomplishments in American history.  In addition to panel sessions and special presentations, the Conference features a display of new publications.  The Deep South Conference series is the oldest in the South.

The annual Frank and Virginia Williams Abraham Lincoln Lecture at LSU Shreveport will be delivered on October 20 by  Gary Kline, the editor of the Journal of Global Southern Studies.  His topic is “Can Lincoln Still Point the Way Home?”

The International Lincoln Center will hold a panel on “Lincoln’s Legacy Abroad” at the annual conference of the Association of Global South Studies to be held on November 18-21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sunjay Letchuman (Texas A & M University) will present a paper on “Lincoln’s Educational Legacy in Malaysia” and William D. Pederson (LSU Shreveport) will discuss “The International Lincoln Center at 55 Years” at the Comparative Education Society of India Conference to be held at Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara on December 14-16.

The International Lincoln Center and the Forum on Contemporary Theory will sponsor a conference in Puri, India, on December 18-21.  The topic of the conference is on “Revisiting Cosmopolitanism.”

Arts & Entertainment

A restored print of John Ford’s 1939 biopic Young Mr. Lincoln was featured on Netflix on January 1.  A new print of this classic concerning Lincoln’s early years as an Illinois lawyer and ending before his transition into the presidency has been crafted by Centurion.  This was American myth-making at its best, and on the eve of World War II, Lincoln is the destined savior.  Henry Fonda gave a sterling performance in the title role.

Ron Chernow’s Grant has been optioned for a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio producing.  It would be directed by Steven Spielberg.

Harold Holzer wrote “Freedom from Speech: Lincoln, Roosevelt & the Myth of Impromptu Oratory” for the Norman Rockwell Catalogue, Enduring Ideals: Rockwell, Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms.


The Lincoln Heritage Museum of Lincoln College, Lincoln, IL, “Let Us Do Our Duty” Lincoln and Citizenship, opened on February 8th.

The Lincoln Memorial Shrine hosted a special exhibit of the long-awaited “expressive” Abraham Lincoln bust produced by Garner Holt

Awards and Prizes

George Saunders won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo.  This British award honors the best in English language fiction.  Saunders’s novel takes place in Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery where the body of Willie Lincoln has recently been placed.  Numerous spirits interact with each other as they observe Lincoln on the evening he visits his deceased son.

In 2017, the University of Illinois Alumni Association established a Hall of Fame.  Among the first 150 elected as most illustrious graduates included three Lincoln scholars: The late David Herbert Donald, Edna Greene Medford, and Wayne C. Temple.

On January 29, Harold Holzer received the City & State New York 50 Over 50 Award honoring New York leaders who have distinguished themselves by helping The Big Apple in civic affairs.

On February 12, the late Elizabeth Brown Pryor received the Civil War Round Table of New York’s Barondess Lincoln Award for her posthumously published Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and its Demons.

The Lincoln Group of New York presented its 2017 Award of Achievement to author Sidney Blumenthal for his book Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. II, 1849-1856.

The Friends of the Lincoln Collection of Indiana, which supports the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection that publishes Lincoln Lore as well as sponsoring lectures, was awarded the Wendy Allen Award by The Lincoln Forum at the November 2017 symposium.

Professor emeritus John F. Marszalek, Executive Director and Senior Editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association and Presidential Library, received the Nevins-Freeeman Award from the Civil War Round Table of Chicago on April 12.

Richard Carwardine’s Lincoln’s Sense of Humor, the latest in the “Concise Lincoln” series from Southern Illinois University Press, received the Abraham Lincoln Institute/Abraham Lincoln Association 2018 Book Prize.

Ron Chernow was the recipient of the Fletcher Pratt Award of the Civil War Round Table of New York for his biography, Grant.

Stephen Recker received the Edwin C. Bearss Award from the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars & Tours.

The Civil War Trust received the 2018 Friend of History Award from The Organization of American Historians.


The Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana, assembled over 47 years, will be auctioned by Swann Gallery in New York on September 27.

A ring made out of hair from Tad Lincoln’s pony has been donated to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield.

The Peoria Historical Society has restored a satin banner depicting Abraham Lincoln carrying a brief case and a scroll heralding his election to the presidency in 1861.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum placed its copy of one of the five original manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address on exhibit on November 16, 2017.

The Sangamon County Republican Women’s Club is providing every first-grade classroom in Sangamon County, Illinois, the book Where Is Abe? written by Carla Mayernick.

The Chicago Tribune reported on February 19 that a long-lost four-foot bust of Abraham Lincoln in concrete was discovered in the rooms of a Chicago gas station that has been long out of use.  Chipped, with its nose missing, the statue will be relocated at the West Englewood Library.

The Library of Congress recently placed a new edition of the Abraham Lincoln Papers online in full color at   Copies of the gold medal presented to Mary Lincoln on behalf of the people of France following the assassination and President Lincoln’s reading copy of his Second Inaugural Address are also online (

In a letter to Lincoln Monument Association members on March 20, LMA President Michaeleen McDonald announced that the group ended its existence on March 31 with assurances that all funds used for the LMA will be donated to the support of the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield.

A sculpture of Lincoln sitting on a park bench outside the Lincoln on 66 Visitor’s Center at the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, IL, was damaged over the weekend of January 20.  The sculptor Rick Harney created the sculpture in about four months at a cost of $30,000.  The sculptor and maintenance workers have since cleaned the piece.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site had to close on Saturday, January 20 due to the federal government budgetary shutdown.

The Civil War Trust, the national nonprofit preservation group, recognized for its success in saving battlefield land, has formed the American Battlefield Trust.  It is an umbrella entity under which the Civil War Trust and the Revolutionary War Trust will both function.

Carla Knorowski, Chief Executive Officer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, Springfield, wrote a letter to the editor in the Chicago Tribune seeking support for the Foundation which has threatened to auction many of its treasures, including Lincoln’s presidential seal, stovepipe hat, and the gloves he carried with him the night of the assassination.  All of this comes from strapped financing which primarily relates to the 2007 purchase of the Taper Collection.  Financing in the amount of $25 million dollars was obtained and the collection purchased.  While the Foundation staff and volunteer board members have raised more than $15 million dollars in private donations to repay the financing, the remainder is due in a year-and-a-half.  The Foundation is looking for money to prevent such an auction.

Katherine Rodeghier is the author and photographer of “Looking for Lincoln,” which appeared in the May 20 Chicago Tribune.

An original signed, printed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation was on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park.  The park has teamed up with the Gettysburg Foundation to exhibit a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation personally signed by President Lincoln.  One of three color lithographic broadsides was given directly to Abraham Lincoln.  On loan from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, it was on display from May 17-November 25, 2018 in the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War.

Books and Pamphlets

Lewis E. Lehrman is the author of Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War (Stackpole Books).

Jason Emerson is the author of Lincoln’s Lover: Mary Lincoln in Poetry which the author selected, arranged, and edited (The Kent State University Press).

Southern Illinois University Press has published James Tackach’s Lincoln the Naturalist.

Megan Hardgrave’s Ride with the Assassin is now an e-book available from

Forgotten Books republished Abraham Lincoln Before 1860: Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois from the files of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection.  (

Gene Griessman wrote Lincoln and Obama (An Achievement Digest Book).

The University of Nebraska Press has Harry J. Maihafer’s War of Words: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Press back in print

Brian J. Snee’s Lincoln Before Lincoln: Early Cinematic Adaptations of the Life of America’s Greatest President has been published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Stanley Harrold’s Lincoln and the Abolitionist was published as part of The Concise Lincoln Library of Southern Illinois University Press.

Dan Abrams is the author of Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled him to the Presidency (Hanover Square Press).

Frank J. Williams’s paper “Reconstruction: What Went Wrong,” presented to the Springfield, (Ohio) Civil War Round Table of the Clark County Historical Society, has been published as a pamphlet with the aid of Dr. Paul (“Ski”) W. Schanher.  (117 South Fountain Avenue, Springfield, OH 45502).

Collateral Books

Edward L. Ayers is the author of The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America (Norton).

Dwight T. Pitcaithley is the editor of The U.S. Constitution and Succession: A Documentary Anthology of Slavery and White Supremacy. (University Press of Kansas).

Allen C. Guelzo’s Reconstruction: A Concise History has been published by Oxford University Press.

Frederick Douglass: Profit of Freedom by David W. Blight has been published by Simon & Schuster.

The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels by Jon Meacham has been published by Random House.

Timothy B. Smith’s The Decision Was Always My Own: Ulysses S. Grant and the Vicksburg Campaign has been published by Southern Illinois University Press.

Potomac Books has published Richard A. Sauers’s Gettysburg: The Meade-Sickles Controversy.


Jennifer M. Murray wrote “Meade in Allegory: The General’s Washington, D.C., Took Years to Complete” for the April Civil War Times.

“Building Black History: A New View [Harriet] Tubman” by Mark Hartsell appeared in the January/February Library of Congress Magazine.  This issue also included a copy of Article XIII to the United States Constitution signed by Abraham Lincoln before it was sent to the states.

Richard F. Grimmett wrote “President Lincoln (and others) at St. John’s Church, Washington, D.C.” for the winter issue of For the People: A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association.  Richard E. Hart wrote “Entertainment in Lincoln’s Springfield.”

Rob Kaplan wrote “A brief History of Lincoln on Stamps” for the February Wide Awake Bulletin of the Lincoln Group of New York.

The Winter 2018 Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association included Martin H. Quitt’s “New Year’s Day 1841: A Puzzling Triptych,” Mark A. Neels’s “‘A Just Application of Democratic Priniples’: The Physical Conservatism of Salmon P. Chase,” and Allen C. Guelzo’s “Reconstruction as a Pure Bourgeois Revolution.”

Ronald C. White authored “Notes to Self: Lincoln’s Private Thoughts on Fate, Failure, Slavery, and Belief” for the February Harper’s Magazine.

Kenneth T. Walsh’s “Presidential Iconography: Lincoln was the First to Use Photos to Shape Public Perception” appeared in the Bay Weekly (Annapolis, MD) on January 18.

Mike Sterling wrote “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural: A Lesson in Humility” for The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) on February 12, 2018.

Martin S. Lederman wrote “The Law (?) of the Lincoln Assassination” for the March Columbia Law Review.

William R. Black wrote about the Federal Writers’ Project of the 1930s in “Abraham Lincoln’s Secret Visit to Slaves” for the February 12 Atlantic.

Rick Beard wrote about Baltimore artist-dentist Adalbert Volck, “Poison Pen Confederate,” for the June Civil War Times.

  1. Kelly Tillery, Esquire is the author of “Reading Law with Lincoln” for the Philadelphia Lawyer.

“Glimpsing Lincoln” by Adam Gopnik appeared in the March 5 issue of The New Yorker, describing “newly discovered” drawings by cartoonist Thomas Nast of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 which first appeared in Harold Holzer’s Lincoln President-Elect.

Cinda Ackerman Klickna wrote “Lincoln in Love: Stumbling to the Alter with Abraham and Mary” for the February 8-18 Illinois Times.

Volume XXXII (2018) of the Journal of the Lincoln Assassination, published by Frederick Hatch, featured “Weapons of the Lincoln Conspirators,” “Habeas Corpus,” “Report of U.S. Secret Service on the Booth Diary,” and “Lou Weichmann’s Hearing Problems.”

“When Presidents Lawyer Up,” including a piece about Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus and his consult with Democrat Reverdy Johnson, who supported the suspension, has been authored by Steven Lubet and Brian McGinty.  It appeared in the April 12 Chicago Tribune.

The May Journal of Southern History includes “Southern History in Periodicals, 2017: A Selected Bibliography.”

Henry S. Cohn’s “Two Views of Abraham Lincoln: The Negative and Positive,” was a review essay of Elizabeth Pryor’s Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and its Demons and The Annotated Lincoln, edited by Harold Holzer and Thomas A. Horrocks.  The essay appeared in the spring Lincoln Forum Bulletin.

John F. Marszalek is the author of “Righting his Mind: Passages from Ulysses S. Grant’s Memoirs Reveal a Man of Clear Purpose and Frank Opinion” for the August Civil War Times.

The summer 2017 Lincoln Herald included: “Abraham Lincoln: A Model for Today’s Trial Lawyers” by Jim Siberell; “From the Archives – Sheridan, The Life of a General Part I: The Wild Irish Boy” by Joseph E. Suppiger; “The Uses and Abuses of Abraham Lincoln Whether or Not: Abraham Lincoln and the Weather” by Jason H. Silverman; Frank J. Williams’s quarterly “Lincolniana” and Steven Wilson’s “From the Collection: Stephen A. Douglas 1860 Campaign Medal.”

Joe Mieczkowski wrote “New York Draft Riots” for the July Civil War News.  The same issue included Harold Holzer’s “Gettysburg Revisited: Still Consecrating and Hallowing that Ground.”


Edward L. Ayers, The Thin Light of Freedom: Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, rev. by David W. Crofts, Civil War Book Review, (Fall 2017).

Colleen Glenney Boggs, Teaching the Literatures of the American Civil War, rev. by Richmond Adams, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

Richard Brookhiser, Founder’s Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, rev. by Drew R. McCoy, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Winter 2018).

Richard Carwardine, Lincoln’s Sense of Humor, rev. by Louis P Masur, Civil War Times (June 2018); Wayne Wolf, Civil War News (May 2018); rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Book Review (Spring 2018).

Ron Chernow, Grant, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Book Review (Fall 2017); rev. by Eric Foner, TLS (January 26, 2018); rev. by Carl Rollyson, The Weekly Standard (November 13, 2017); rev. by Walt Albro, Civil War News (June 2018).

James B. Conroy, Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime, rev. by Natalie Sweet, Lincoln Herald (Summer 2017).

Thomas W. Cutrer, Theater of a Separate War: The Civil War West of the Mississippi River, 1861-1865, rev. by William A. Dobak, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

  1. D. Dickey, Rising in Flames, rev. by Harold Holzer, The Wall Street Journal (June 9-10, 2018).

Brian R. Dirck, Lincoln in Indiana, rev. by Sean A. Scott, The Journal of Southern History (February 2018).

Douglas R. Egerton, Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments that Redeemed America, rev. by Chandra Manning, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

Dan C. Fullerton, Armies in Gray: The Organizational History of the Confederate States Army in the Civil War, rev. by Andrew S. Bledsoe, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

William C. Harris, Two Against Lincoln: Reverdy Johnson and Horatio Seymour, Champions of the Loyal Opposition, rev. by Timothy J. Orr, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White, “Our Little Monitor:” The Greatest Invention of the Civil War, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Times (August 2018).

Michael F. Holt, The Election of 1860: A Campaign Fraught with Consequences, rev. by Michael Robinson, Civil War Book Review (Winter 2018); rev. by Joseph Truglio, Civil War New (June 2018).

David Alan Johnson, Battle of Wills: Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and the Last Year of the Civil War, rev. by Steven E. Woodworth, The Journal of Southern History (February 2018).

David J. Kent, Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, rev. by Jonathan White, Civil War Times (August 2018).

Lewis E. Lehrman, Lincoln & Churchill, rev. by Michael F. Bishop, The Wall Street Journal (January 27-28, 2018).

Richard S. Lowry, The Photographer and the President: Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Gardner, and the Images that made a Presidency, rev. by David J. Kent, The Lincolnian (The Lincoln Group of the District of Columba) (Winter 2018).

John F. Marszalek, David S. Nollen, Louie P. Gallo, editors, The Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant: The Complete Annotated Edition, Civil War Book Review (Winter 2018). 

Jon Meacham, The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels, rev. by Sean Wilentz, The New York Times Book Review (June 10, 2018).

Graham A. Peck, Making an Antislavery Nation: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Battle Over Freedom, rev. by Louis P. Masur, Civil War Times (April 2018); rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War News (May 2018).

Nicholas Pistor, Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century, rev. by David J. Kent, The Lincolnian (The Lincoln Group of the District of Columba) (Winter 2018).

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and it’s Demons, rev. by Paula Hopewell, The Wide Awake Bulletin of the Lincoln Group of New York (February 2018).

Walter Stahr, Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Book Review (Winter 2018).

Timothy Sweet, editor, Literary Cultures of the Civil War, rev. by Vanessa Steinroatter, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

Noah Andre Trudeau, Lincoln’s Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days that Changed a Presidency, rev. by Shannon Bontrager, The Journal of Southern History (February 2018).

Jonathan W. White, Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War, rev. by Katherine Shively Meir, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).

Richard White, The Republic for Which it Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896, rev. by Eric Foner, TLS (January 26, 2018); rev. by William Harris Bragg, Civil War News (March 2018); rev. by Michael Lynch, Lincoln Herald (Summer 2017).

Frank J. Williams, Lincoln as Hero, rev. by Frederick Hatch, Journal of the Lincoln Assassination (2018).

Kenneth J. Winkle, Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C., rev. by James M. Cornelius, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Winter 2018).

Andrew Zimmerman, editor, The Civil War in the United States by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, rev. by Matthew Karp, The Journal of Southern History (May 2018).


Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College, Lincoln, IL, has appointed its curator, Anne Moseley, as its new director, succeeding Tom McLaughlin.

Charles Hubbard, former Director of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University and Lincoln artist Wendy Allen were interviewed by Sara Gabbard in the spring Lincoln LoreAllen C. Guelzo’s “God and Mr. Lincoln” and Richard E. Hart’s “Thomas Lincoln Reconsidered” were in the same issue.

This year, Frank J. Williams, after 24 years as Chair of The Lincoln Forum, will step down.  Founding Vice Chairman, Harold Holzer, will succeed him in November 2018.

Robert Willard has succeeded Kathryn Harris as President of the Abraham Lincoln Association.

History News Network’s Robin Lindley hosted an interview with Manisha Sinha, “What you don’t know about Abolitionism.”  It appeared on the History News Network web for February 16, 2018.

Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site Superintendent Tim Good has left General Grant for a new tenure as the Superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Springfield.

Lincoln interpreter Fritz Klein was profiled by David Blanchette in the February 8-14 Illinois Times.

Family members of the late R. Gerald McMurty continue to sustain the legacy of that distinguished Lincoln scholar (and onetime editor of The Lincoln Herald) by endowing a chair for Lincoln studies at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University.  The McMurtry family also donated the Lincoln corner cabinet which was handcrafted by Abraham Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln.  During remarks at the announcement, LMU President, B. James Dawson announced the establishment of the R. Gerald McMurty Honorary Chair in Lincoln Studies.

On May 3 and 4, Frank J. Williams delivered the Commencement Address to 3,200 graduates of Mississippi State University, to which he and his wife recently donated The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana.  He received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Public Service, from President Mark Keenum.

Lincoln and Political Culture

On February 14, Hundreds of students and teachers from a Kentucky elementary school – The Lincoln Performing Arts School – wore black hats and black beards in a bid to set a world record for “Most Abraham Lincolns in One Place” for the Guinness Book of World Records.  The publisher told them they needed 250 Honest Abes.

The NY Daily News featured a Bill Bramhall cartoon of Lincoln sitting in the Lincoln Memorial: “With Malice Toward None, Charity For All.” The cartoon depicts visitors saying, “Such a Comedian.”

At the end of his State of the State Address, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner quoted Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”  But Lincoln never said that, as pointed out by Dave McKinney on Illinois Public Radio on February 2.  There is no record of this quote in the Lincoln utterance record, as pointed out by Rodney Davis, Harold Holzer, and others.

On February 13, David Brooks offered “The End of the Two-Party System” for the New York Times editorial page.  He argued that President Donald Trump has given us a “warrior style” that is perpetual.  “Under the influence of this mentality, evangelicalism turns from a faith into a siege-mentality interest group that reveres a pagan immoralist.  Under the influence of this mentality, liberalism goes from a creed that values individual rights and deliberation to one that values group separatism and intellectual intolerance.”  Eventually, conservatives will realize “If we want to preserve conservatism, we can’t be in the same party as the clan warriors.  Eventually, those who cherish the democratic way of life will realize they have to make a much more radical break than any they ever imagined.  …They will realize it’s time to start something new.”

David W. Blight wrote “Co-opting Frederick Douglass” for the op-ed section of the February 14 New York Times.  Blight argues that the “far right” has “cherry-picked this abolitionist’s words” with the right saying that Douglass was “self-reliant.”  Blight opines that “while Douglass believed in self-reliance, he also demanded an interventionist government to free slaves, defeat the Confederacy, and protect black citizens from terror and discrimination.”  At the height of national debate over slavery in 1857, Douglass wrote: “Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did and it never will.  Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.”  He added, “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those who may oppress.”  His understanding of power could never confine him to advocacy of individualism alone.

On Father’s Day, June 17, the New York Times featured a full page tribute with a photograph of the statue of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas “Tad” Lincoln located on the grounds of the Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA, sponsored by The Price of My Vote:

“Happy Father’s Day with sincere appreciation and gratitude to fathers who:


Stand up for the safety of schoolchildren instead of bowing to the NRA;

Ensure the right to clean air and water for all and protect open spaces;

Refuse to be beholden to coal, oil and gas industries;

Show kindness and compassion to those less fortunate, especially victims of tragedy;

Speak out against obvious lies and distortion of victims of tragedy;

Denounce bullies and public figures who preach hatred, racism, and misogyny;

Model integrity, morality, honesty and decency.


Thank you for the admirable legacy you leave for all children.”


Harold Holzer focused on Abraham Lincoln (and Donald Trump) in his Independence Day op-ed for The New York Daily News July 1: “Honoring the Fourth, Saving the Nation: How Lincoln Marks our Foundational Holiday.”



The April 4-8 conference of the Surratt Society included Jon Willen who spoke about “Lincoln’s First Responder: Dr. Charles A. Leale.”  Other topics included: “John Surratt’s Female Associates,” “Dr. Samuel Mudd, The Trial of Booth’s Alleged Accomplices,” and “Reactions to Lincoln’s Death.”  Brady Carlson was the banquet speaker with “Inside the world of the Post-Post-Presidency.”


Historian and journalist Lerone Bennett, Jr. died, at 89, on February 14.  A top editor at Ebony Magazine, he wrote about race relations and black history.  His article about Abraham Lincoln in the January 1968 Ebony caused a furor because Bennett wrote that, despite his reputation as an emancipator, Lincoln was in truth a white supremacist who thought that the races would be better off separated, “preferably with the Atlantic Ocean or some other large, deep body of water between them.”

“The man’s character, his way with words and his assassination, together with the psychological needs of a racist society, have obscured his contradictions under a mountain of myths.”

Historian James M. McPherson found flaws with Bennett’s book, which expanded his arguments against Lincoln (Forced: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream).  “Bennett,” McPherson wrote in reviewing the book in the New York Times, “fails to appreciate the acuity and empathy that enable Lincoln to transcend his prejudices and to preside over the greatest social revolution in American history.”

Paul Pascal,  a long time Advisory Board memebr of The Lincoln Forum  and veteran leader of The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia passed away on April 9, 2018.


Author’s Note

I want to thank Florence J. Baur, Randal Berry, Roger Billings, Kenneth L. Childs, James M. Cornelius, Aaron Crawford, Judges W. Dennis Duggan and Dennis Curran, Jo Dzombak, Joseph Fornieri, Sybil and Bill Forsythe, Guy C. Fraker, Malcolm Garber, Mike Gross, Robert F. Henderson, Harold Holzer, Thomas Horrocks, Tom Lapsley, Dave Leroy, Mike Marlow, Ralph S. McCrea, William K. Miller, Larry Morris, Frank and Virginia Musgrave, William D. Pederson, Benjamin A. Pushner, Justice William P. Robinson III, Edward Steers, Jr., David J. Stiller, John Schildt, Richard Sloan, Philip W. Stichter, Wayne C. Temple, Thomas J. Trimborn, David Warren, and Virginia Williams for providing information for this column.