Abraham Lincoln Institute, Inc.


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.

› Board of Directors

Michelle Krowl, Chairman of the Board

Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors: Michelle KrowlMichelle 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.


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
Jonathan W. White, President

Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors: Jonathan WhiteJonathan 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


  • College Life during the Civil War: The Letters of Singleton Ashenfelter, Dickinson College Class of 1865, edited with Daniel Glenn, with a Foreword by J. Matthew Gallman (forthcoming with Kent State University Press).
  • “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War, with Anna Gibson Holloway, 2018
  • Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep and Dreams during the Civil War, 2017
  • 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 Government.
  • A Philadelphia Perspective: The Civil War Diary of Sidney George Fisher, 2007


Ron Soodalter, Vice-President

Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors: Ron SoodalterRon Soodalter is a full-time writer. Ron Soodalter In addition to his two current books, Soodalter is featured in six others, and has had over 300 articles published in such periodicals as the New York Times, Smithsonian, Civil War Times, Military History, New York Archives, and America’s Civil War. He is the recipient of the International and Regional Magazine Association’s 2010 Gold Award, 2014 Award of Merit, and 2016 Silver Award.

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 a grandson, Bennett Lincoln, 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: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today, Berkeley Press, January 2009
  • Co-authored with Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves
  • Hanging Captain Gordon: The Life and Trial of an American Slave Trader, Simon & Schuster, 2006
Gordon Leidner, Treasurer

Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors: Gordon LeidnerGordon Leidner is the author and webmaster of Great American History, a Civil War web site popular among students and educators. Gordon Leidner is originally from Greenville, Illinois.


M.G.A., Applied Management, University of Maryland University College

B.S., Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, University of Illinois


  • Leadership Secrets of Hamilton: 7 Steps to Revolutionary Leadership by Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers, Simple Truths, 2017
  • Conversations With Lincoln: Little-Known Stories of Those Who Met America’s Sixteenth President, Cumberland House, 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.

Clark Evans, General Secretary

Abraham Lincoln Institute Board of Directors: Clark EvansClark 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