John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger Share Lincoln Prize with Allen Guelzo

AHA Staff, April 2000

The prestigious Lincoln Prize, awarded annually for the best books on the Civil War and Lincoln, was shared this year by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, coauthors of Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation (Oxford University Press) and Allen C. Guelzo, who wrote Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (W. B. Eerdmans). The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony in New York on April 18.

Franklin, a former president of the AHA, is professor emeritus at Duke University, and recently chaired the presidential task force on race. Schweninger is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Guelzo is dean of the Honors College at Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

In their book, Franklin and Schweninger provide detailed documentary evidence to demolish the long-held belief that slaves were happy with their lot and to contest prevalent notions about the passivity and docility of slaves.

Guelzo's biography of Lincoln focuses on a little-explored aspect of his life—his religious beliefs. Situating the making of Lincoln's religious perspectives within the intellectual ferment of the 19th century, Guelzo traces Lincoln's beliefs to his Calvinist upbringing and to his faith in divine providence.

The second prize was awarded to Michael Holt, chair of the history department at the University of Virginia, for his book, The Rise and the Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War (Oxford University Press).

Franklin, Schweninger, Guelzo, and Holt are members of the AHA.

The Lincoln Prize was established by Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, and is administered by the Lincoln and Gettysburg Institute at Gettysburg College.