Previous Seaborg Award Winners


Peter Seaborg Prize Winners, Finalists, and Honorable Mentions

The winner of the 2009 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was Mr. Philip Dray, author of Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction through the Lives of the First Black Congressman, published in 2008 by the Houghton Mifflin Company. 
In Dray’s beautifully written book, he reclaims the story of sixteen black Southerners, elected to the U.S. Congress, who arrived in Washington to advocate reforms such as public education, equal rights, land distribution, and the suppression of the Ku Klux Klan.  Drawing on archival documents, news accounts, and congressional records, he shows how the efforts of black Americans revealed their political perceptiveness and readiness to serve as voters, citizens, and elected officials.

Dray is also author of the At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America, Stealing God’s Thunder: Benjamin Franklin’s Lightening Rod and the Invention of America, and Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist.


Other finalists for this year’s award were:  Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America’s Culture of Death by Mark S. Schantz and published by Cornell University Press; Gustavas Vasa Fox of the Union Navy: A Biography written by Ari Hoogenboom and published by Johns Hopkins University Press; Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat: The Reality and Myth by Earl J. Hess, published by University Press of Kansas; Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign by Peter Cozzens and published by University of North Carolina Press.

The winner of the 2008 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was Dr. Jo-Ann Morgan, Associate Professor at Western Illinois University, received the award for her book entitled Uncle Tom’s Cabin as Visual Culture.  Published by University of Missouri Press, Morgan’s work reveals how prints and paintings of Uncle Tom and other characters in the novel shaped public perceptions and how this visual culture offered the country a means of both representing and reinventing its slave past. Morgan is currently working on a journal article, “Topsy and Eva: Race, Place, and the Bipolarity of Black and White in Images of Children,” as part of a larger book project on the representation of African American women in the 19th century.

 Other finalists for the Peter Seaborg Award were:  Beleaguered Winchester: A Virginia Community at War 1861-1865 written by Richard R. Duncan and published by Louisiana State University Press; Diehard Rebels: The Confederate Culture of Invincibility written by Jason Philips and published by University of Georgia Press; The Road to Disunion: Volume II, Secessionists Triumphant 1854-1861 written by William H. Freehling and published by Oxford University Press; and Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign written by Scott C. Patchan and published by University of Nebraska Press..


The winner of the 2007 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was Dr. Bruce Levine, J. G. Randall Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Levine received the award for his book entitled Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War. Published by Oxford University Press, Levine’s work looks closely at the 1864 proposal to arm and free slaves of the South after the disastrous results at the Battle of Chattanooga. Throughout the book, Levine captures the voices of the various factions across the South and sheds light on such controversial topics as what the Confederacy was fighting for, whether black southerners were willing to fight in large numbers in defense of the South, and what this episode foretold about life and politics in the post-war South.

The winner of the 2006 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was Dr. Edward J. Blum, assistant professor of history at Kean University in New Jersey, received the award for his book entitled Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism 1865-1898. In Reforging the White Republic, Blum focuses on the vital role that religion played in reunifying northern and southern whites into a racially segregated society. He tells the fascinating story of how northern Protestantism, once the catalyst for racial egalitarianism, promoted and sanctified notions of a mythic "white republic."

The winner of the 2005 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans, published by the University Press of Kansas and written by Donald R. Shaffer, who teaches history at the University of Northern Colorado. In After the Glory, Shaffer chronicles the postwar transition of black veterans from the Union army, as well as their subsequent life patterns, political involvement, family and marital life, experiences with social welfare, comradeship with other veterans, and memories of the war itself.

The winner of the 2004 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship was Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Freeman Miller and the Supreme Court during the Civil War Era, published by Louisiana State University Press and written by Dr. Michael A. Ross, formerly a corporate lawyer and now associate professor of history at Loyola University in New Orleans. It documents the career of one of one of the most important Supreme Court justices whose opinions helped to define our nation’s legal policies following the Civil War during the turbulent period of Reconstruction. Miller is considered by many as one of the hundred individuals in the history of the world who have most influenced the law.

A biography of the notorious and enigmatic American figure, Jesse James, was chosen as the winner of the 2003 Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship. Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War, documents the outlaw’s experiences in pre-war Missouri, his Civil War exploits as an irregular cavalry trooper, and his infamous post-war career as a bank-robbing criminal. The work was written by T.J. Stiles of New York City and published by Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Company. A free-lance historian, Stiles is a native of Benton County, Minnesota, and has studied history at Carleton College and Columbia University. Kenneth W. Noe won the 2002 Seaborg Award for his book Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle, the account of a significant yet historically neglected Civil War battle.His accomplishment is particularly noteworthy as the 2002 prize was selected from nominations covering three publishing years (1999-2001). Previous Seaborg awards went to Noel C. Fisher for his work, War at Every Door, a study of partisan politics and guerrilla violence in East Tennessee in the years 1860-69, and to Professor Joseph Harsh of George Mason University for his study of Robert E. Lee’s war strategy in Confederate Tide Rising.