Abraham Lincoln Institute Winning Scholarship

Dissertation Prize Winners

The Abraham Lincoln Institute respects the commitment and talent required for significant research and presentation in dissertations and books. The purpose of the Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize is to recognize and encourage young scholars to conduct research on Abraham Lincoln and his times. 

An annual prize of $1,000 is underwritten by the Abraham Lincoln Institute and the Abraham Lincoln Association. A panel of five scholars representing each organization serves as the jury.

Annual Dissertation Prize Winners

2016

Thomas J. Kernan,  "Sounding 'The Mystic Chords of Memory': Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865-2009," The University of Cincinnati.

2015

Sarah Bischoff Paulus,  "Abraham Lincoln's Northwestern Apporach to the Secession Crisis," Rice University.

2014

Kimberly N. Kutz,  "Lincoln's Ghosts: The Posthumous Career of an American Icon," The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

2013

Jared Peatman,  "The Long Shadow of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address," Texas A&M University. The dissertation was then published as The Long Shadow of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013)

2012

Cynthia Nicoletti,  "The Great Question of War: The Legal Status of Secession in the Aftermath of the American Civil War, 1865-1869," University of Virginia.

2011

John M. Barr, "The Anti-Lincoln Tradition in American Life," The University of Houston. The dissertation was then published as Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present (Louisiana State University Press, 2014)

2010

Jonathan W. White,  "'To Aid Their Rebel Friends': Politics and Treason in the Civil War North," University of Maryland at College Park. The dissertation was then published as Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (Louisiana State University Press, 2011)

2009

Robert J. Johnson, Jr.,  "Trial by Fire: Abraham Lincoln and the Law," CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

2008 – No award given.

2007

Russell McClintock,  "Shall it be Peace or a Sword? Northern Political Culture and the Crisis of Secession, 1860-1861," Clark University. The dissertation was then published as Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).  VIDEO

2006

David Work,  "Lincoln's Political Generals," Texas A & M University.  The dissertation was then published as Lincoln's Political Generals, (University of Illinois Press, 2009).  VIDEO

2005

Jennifer Weber,  "The Civil War and Northern Society," Princeton University.  The dissertation was then published as Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North, (Oxford University Press, 2006).  VIDEO

2004

Matthew Parks,  "Self-Evident No More: American Political Thought, 1820-1850," Boston University.  

2003

Graham A. Peck,  "The Social and Cultural Origins of Sectional Politics: Illinois from Statehood to Civil War," Northwestern University.  

2002

Brian Dirck,  "Mystic Chords: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, American Imagined Community, 1808-1860," University of Kansas.
Books: Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865 (2001), Waging War on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents (On Trial) (2003)

2001

Stewart Winger,  "Lincoln's Religious Rhetoric: American Romanticism and the Antislavery Impulse," University of Chicago.
Book:  Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics (2003), Deren Kellogg,  "The Lincoln Administration and the Southwestern Territories," University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.