Originally published 02/19/2013
Chestertown, Md — George Washington as a feisty young frontier soldier, the U.S. as an infant world power, the founding era as seen through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson’s favorite daughter, and Jefferson himself as an American nationalist – these are the subjects of four exciting new works named finalists for the 2013 George Washington Book Prize, a $50,000 award that recognizes the best recent book on the nation’s founding era.Washington College today announced this year’s finalists as Stephen Brumwell’s George Washington: Gentleman Warrior (Quercus), Eliga H. Gould’s Among the Powers of the Earth: The American Revolution and the Making of a New World Empire (Harvard), Cynthia A. Kierner’s Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times (UNC) and Brian Steele’s Thomas Jefferson and American Nationhood (Cambridge). All four books were published in 2012.Co-sponsored by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the award is the largest nationwide for a book on early American history, and one of the largest literary prizes of any kind. It recognizes the past year’s best books on the nation’s founding, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history....
Originally published 01/31/2013
Richard Striner, a history professor at Washington College, is the author of “Lincoln and Race.”Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, but the immediate reactions for and against it reverberated loudly throughout the following month.Almost all abolitionists and radical Republicans, even those who had condemned Lincoln’s methods as being too cautious, were thrilled. William Lloyd Garrison, the venerable abolitionist, called the occasion “a great historic event, sublime in its magnitude and beneficent in its far-reaching consequences.” The radical Republican Benjamin Wade proclaimed, “Now, hurrah for Old Abe and the proclamation!”Black Americans were naturally likewise jubilant. The minister Henry Highland Garnet called Lincoln “the man of our choice and hope” and said that the proclamation was “one of the greatest acts in all history.” Frederick Douglass said much the same thing: the proclamation was “the greatest event in our nation’s history.”