Abraham Lincoln Institute Winning Scholarship


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.


Scott Ackerman, “‘We are Abolitionizing the West’: The Union Army and the Implementation of Federal Emancipation Policy, 1861-1865,” City University of New York.


No Award Given


Robert O. Faith, “‘This Despotic and Arbitrary Power’: British Diplomacy and Resistance in the Habeas Corpus Controversy of the American Civil War,” University of Akron.


Thomas D. Mackie Jr., “A Shrine for President Lincoln: An Analysis of Lincoln Museums and Historic Sites, 1816-2015,” Western Michigan University.


Zachery A. Fry, “Lincoln’s Divided Legion: Loyalty and Political Culture of the Army of the Potomac 1861-1865,” Ohio State University.


Mark A. Neels, “Lincoln’s Conservatives: Conservative Unionism and Political Tradition in the Civil War Era,” Southern Illinois University.


Thomas J. Kernan, “Sounding ‘The Mystic Chords of Memory’: Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865-2009,” The University of Cincinnati.


Sarah Bischoff Paulus, “Abraham Lincoln’s Northwestern Apporach to the Secession Crisis,” Rice University.


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


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).


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.


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).


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).


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


No Award Given


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]


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]


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]


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


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


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).


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.