The 2012 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship . . .


Dr. Robert E. McGlone


The George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University has announced the winner of the 2012 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship.  Dr. Robert E. McGlone, Associate Professor of History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, received the award for his book entitled John Brown’s War against Slavery.  Published by Cambridge University Press, McGlone’s work explains the sources of Brown’s obsession with slavery and his notorious crime at Pottawatomie Creek as well as how the Harpers Ferry raid figured into Brown's larger vision and why he was captured in the federal armory there.  The book chronicles how this aged American apostle of violence in behalf of the "downtrodden," ultimately rescued his cause by going to the gallows with resolution and outward calm

. The family of Peter Seaborg has presented McGlone with a commemorative plaque and a $5,000 award for his accomplishment.  Established in 1998, the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship celebrates the life and interests of Peter Seaborg, son of Nobel Prize winner Glenn Seaborg.  This year’s award covered three publishing years, from 2009-2011.

In addition to John Brown’s War against Slavery, others finalists for the 2012 Award were:  Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867, written by William A. Dobak and published by the Center for Military History; The Union War, written by Gary W. Gallagher and published by Harvard University Press; Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, written by Stephanie McCurry and published by Harvard University Press; Punitive War: Confederate Guerrillas and Union Reprisals, written by Clay Mountcastle and published by University Press of Kansas; and The Iron Way: Railroads, The Civil War, and the Making of Modern America, written by William G. Thomas and published by Yale University Press.


Previous Seaborg Award Winners >>








The Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship award
A decade of scholarship ends as the prize will no longer be offered by the Seaborg Family

Peter’s sister, Lynn Seaborg Cobb, supported this award over the many years of its existence, reading and judging the books as well as paying for its administration.  She and her husband have announced their retirement from their respective professions.

The Peter Seaborg Award was an annual prize which recognized an outstanding nonfiction book that advanced knowledge about the Civil War era of American history. Preference was given to first-time authors. Entries were judged on originality of approach or subject, effectiveness of presentation, historical accuracy, and degree of contribution to the field of knowledge. The author of the chosen book received a $5000 prize.

The late Mr. Peter Seaborg was a rare book dealer in the Washington, DC area and an ardent aficionado of the American Civil War. In 1998, his family initiated "The Peter Seaborg Award" to serve as a lasting memorial to his accomplishments and to encourage publication of Civil War history with unique perspective and superior quality. Administrative responsibilities entailed in presenting the award were performed by the George Tyler Moore Center, part of the History Department at Shepherd University, located in Shepherdstown, a crossroads of Civil War heritage in the Eastern Panhandle region of West Virginia.




Peter G. Seaborg, Civil War reenactor and historian, 1996
Photo courtesy of photographer Jan Faul