Jonathan White Awarded 2023 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize

Abraham Lincoln, George H. Story, c.1915

JMC Fellow Jonathan White Awarded 2023 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize


Jonathan WhiteJMC fellow Jonathan White has been named a co-recipient of the 2023 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize for his latest book, A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House.

The Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize is awarded annually for “the finest scholarly work in English on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or the American Civil War era.”

The $50,000 prize was established in 1990 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, in partnership with Dr. Gabor Boritt, Director Emeritus of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

Of A House Built by Slaves, the award jury wrote that “White captures the symbolic importance of social equality as an issue to be addressed during—and after—the restoration of the Union and eradication of slavery.”

Learn more about Jonathan White and the 2023 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize >>



A House Built by Slaves: African American Visitors to the Lincoln White House

By Jonathan W. White


Jonathan White illuminates why Lincoln’s unprecedented welcoming of African American men and women to the White House transformed the trajectory of race relations in the United States. From his 1862 meetings with Black Christian ministers, Lincoln began inviting African Americans of every background into his home, from ex-slaves from the Deep South to champions of abolitionism such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. More than a good-will gesture, the president conferred with his guests about the essential issues of citizenship and voting rights. Drawing from an array of primary sources, White reveals how African Americans used the White House as a national stage to amplify their calls for equality. Even 155 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s inclusion of African Americans remains a necessary example in a country still struggling from racial divisions today.

Purchase the book from Rowman & Littlefield or Amazon >>



Jonathan W. White is a Professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, where he has taught since 2009. He is the author or editor of thirteen books, including Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014), which was a finalist for the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, a “best book” in the Civil War Monitor, and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize. He has published more than one hundred articles, essays, and reviews. He serves as vice chair of the Lincoln Forum and on the boards of the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Abraham Lincoln Institute, as well as on the Ford’s Theatre Advisory Council and the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s Scholarly Advisory Board. In 2019 he won the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award—the highest honor bestowed upon college faculty by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Learn more about Jonathan W. White >>



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