• Introduction
  • Michelle KrowlChairman of Board
  • Jonathan W. WhitePresident
  • Ron SoodalterVice President
  • Gordon LeidnerTreasurer
  • Clark EvansGen’l Secretary

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee consists of the primary officers of ALI who generously devote many hours to promoting professional quality, academic level Lincoln scholarship that is freely available to all who are interested. The Executive Committee members also serve on the ALI Board of Directors.  

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The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee

Michelle Krowl, Chairman of the Board

Michelle Krowl is the Civil War and Reconstruction specialist in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. She was previously a research assistant for historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and an assistant professor of History at Northern Virginia Community College.

Michelle Krowl introducing Dr. James Oakes at the 2009 ALI symposium Dr. Krowl introducing Dr. James Oakes at ALI Symposium 2009.
Photo: Bruce Guthrie ©2009


Ph.D., History, University of California at Berkeley, 1998
    Dissertation: "Dixie's Other Daughters: African-American Women in Virginia, 1861-1868."
M.A. History, University of California, Berkeley, 1993
B.A. History, University of California, Riverside 1991


   • "Antonia Ford Willard: Southern Belle, Yankee Wife," in Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times, volume 1, edited by Cynthia A. Kierner and Sandra Gioia Treadway (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015), 323-343.
   • The World War II Memorial: Honoring the Price of Freedom, Donning Company Publishers, 2008. Published in cooperation with the National Park Service
   • Women of the Civil War. Women Who Dare series. Pomegranate Communications, Inc., in cooperation with the Library of Congress, 2006
   • "Cheatham, Benjamin Franklin" and "Cox, Lucy Ann White" in Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Volume 3, Caperton-Daniels. Senior editor Sara B. Bearss, Library of Virginia, 2006
   • Quantico: Semper Progredi, Always Forward, with Bradley E. Gernand, Donning Company Publishers, 2005
   • "‘In the Spirit of Fraternity': The United States Government and the Burial of Confederate Dead in Arlington National Cemetery, 1864-1914," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 111, no. 2, 2003
   • "For Better or Worse: Black Families and ‘the State' in Civil War Virginia," in Southern Families at War: Loyalty and Conflict in the Civil War South, edited by Catherine Clinton, Oxford University Press, 2000
   • "‘Her Just Dues': Civil War Pensions of African-American Women in Virginia," in Negotiating the Boundaries of Southern Womanhood: Dealing with the Powers that Be. Southern Women series, Volume 4. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2000
   • "Black Codes," "Casey Hayden," "The Emancipation Proclamation," "National Organization for Women," and "Students for a Democratic Society," in Civil Rights in the United States, edited by Waldo E. Martin and Patricia Sullivan, Macmillan Reference, 2000
   • "African American Women and the United States Military in Civil War Virginia," in Afro-Virginian History and Culture. Edited by John Saillant. Cross Currents in African American History series, edited by Graham R. Hodges and Margaret Washington, Garland Publishing, 1999

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors

Jonathan W. White, President

Jonathan W. White

Jonathan W. White is associate professor of American Studies and a senior fellow with the Center for American Studies at Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Virginia.


B.A., Department of History, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, 2001
M.A., Department of History, The University of Maryland at College Park, 2003
Ph.D., Department of History, The University of Maryland at College Park, 2008
Dissertation: "'To Aid Their Rebel Friends': Politics and Treason in the Civil War North"


Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life, 2015
Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, 2014
  * Winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute 2015 Book Prize
  * Finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize and the Jefferson Davis Prize
Civic Education and the Future of American Citizenship, edited with Elizabeth Kaufer Busch, 2012
Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman, 2011
Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History, 2010
  * Winner of the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Book Award, Society for History in the Federal
A Philadelphia Perspective: The Civil War Diary of Sidney George Fisher
, 2007

Fellowships and Grants:

  • Co-authored with Nathan and Elizabeth Busch grant from the Earhart
    Foundation to support the Center for American Studies academic conferences, 2011
  • Co-authored with Nathan and Elizabeth Busch grant from the Thomas W. Smith Foundation to support work of the Center for American Studies, 2011
  • Jack Miller Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Christopher Newport University, 2009-2011
  • Fellow, Earhart Foundation, 2004-2008
  • Fellow, Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, 2004-2007
  • Research and Travel Grant, Department of History, The University of Maryland, 2006-2007
  • Littleton-Griswold Research Grant in Legal History, The American Historical, 2007
  • ABC-Clio Research Grant administered by the Society for Military History, 2007

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee

Ron Soodalter, Vice-President

Ron Soodalter is a full-time writer. Ron Soodalter In addition to his two current books, Soodalter is featured in four others, and has had over 200 articles published in such periodicals as the New York Times, Smithsonian, Civil War Times, Military History, New York Archives, and Americaís Civil War. He is the recipient of the International and Regional Magazine Associationís 2010 Gold Award and 2014 Award of Merit.

Soodalter has taught in various schools throughout New York State, and in New York City's Riker's Island Prison. He worked as curator of a Colorado history museum, where he served on the Board of Directors of the 10-state Mountain-Plains Museums Conference. Soodalter studied Flamenco guitar with the world renowned Carlos Montoya, and has played professionally all his life. He is a dedicated student of folk music, and has collected traditional ballads in the United States, Ireland, and Scotland. Also an accomplished scrimshaw artist, Soodalter has been featured in a prominent Manhattan art gallery.

Soodalter currently serves on the Advisory Board of the S.S. Columbia Project, and is a member of the Western Writers of America. He has two daughters, Jesse and Melora, and a granddaughter, Nico, and lives with his wife Jane in Cold Spring, New York.


B.A., American History
M.A., Education
M.A., American Folk Culture


The Slave Next Door, Berkeley Press, anticpated January 2009
   co-authored with Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves
   A comprehensive study of human trafficking and modern-day slavery in America.
Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader, Simon & Schuster, 2006

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee

Gordon Leidner, Treasurer

Gordon Leidner is the author and Gordon Leidner webmaster of Great American History, a Civil War web site popular among students and educators. Gordon Leidner is originally from Greenville, Illinois.


B.S., Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois
M.G.A., Applied Management, University of Maryland University College


Leadership Secrets of Hamilton: 7 Steps to Revolutionary Leadership by Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers, Simple Truths, 2016

Conversations With Lincoln: Little-Known Stories of Those Who Met America's Sixteenth President, Cumberland House, forthcoming 2016

Lincoln's Gift: How Humor Shaped Lincoln's Life and Legacy, Cumberland House, 2015

Abraham Lincoln: Quotes, Quips, and Speeches, Cumberland House, 2009

A Commitment to Honor: A Unique Portrait of Abraham Lincoln in His Own Words, Rutledge Hill Press

Lincoln on God and Country, White Mane Publishers

Abraham Lincoln: The Complete Book of Facts, Quizzes, and Trivia, White Mane Publishers
History Book Club selection, May 2001


Leidner has written numerous articles on Lincoln, including those discussing modern transformational leadership theory published in the Lincoln Herald and Columbia: A Quarterly Review of the War Between the States.

Public Speaking:

Leidner has lectured on Lincoln at the Smithsonian Institution and Johns Hopkins University.

Positions Past and Present:

Web Site Liaison, Abraham Lincoln Institute
President, Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, 2002-2004.

The Abraham Lincoln Institute Executive Committee

Clark Evans, General Secretary

Clark Evans served for 38 years in the Rare Book Reading Room at the Library of Congress, home of the Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana.


Mr. Evans has authored Lincoln related articles for the Lincoln Herald, the Lincolnian, and the Dime Novel Round-Up.

Public Speaking:

Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia
Lincoln Memorial University
Maryland Historical Society
Popular Culture Association
The Surratt Society

Past and Present Positions:

First President of Abraham Lincoln Institute, 1997-2000
President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, two terms: 1990-1992