Douglas L. Wilson

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Douglas L. Wilson (born November 10, 1935) is a professor and co-director of Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College.

Wilson is the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. He co-directs the Lincoln Studies Center along with his colleague Rodney O. Davis.

Wilson is also a two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize for Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words, published in November 2006, as well as Honor's Voice in 1999.

In the middle of his academic career, Wilson spent four years serving as the Founding Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello), in Charlottesville, Virginia, before returning to Knox College.


Order of Lincoln, Lincoln Academy, inducted Wilson a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2009 as a Bicentennial Laureate, 2009.[1] Honorary Degree, D. H. L., Doane College, 2009. Book Prize for Lincoln’s Sword, Abraham Lincoln Institute, 2007. Lincoln Prize for Lincoln’s Sword, Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, 2007. Honorary Degree, Litt. D., Knox College, 2007. Residency, Rockefeller Foundation Study Center at Bellagio, 2004. Lincoln Diploma of Honor, Lincoln Memorial University, 2000. Lincoln Prize for Honor's Voice, Gettysburg College, 1999. Barondess/Lincoln Award, Civil War Roundtable of New York, 1999. Book Prize for Honor's Voice, Abraham Lincoln Institute, 1999. Research Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1999. Book Prize for Herndon's Informants, Abraham Lincoln Institute, 1998. Award of Achievement, Lincoln Group of New York, 1998. Elected to membership, American Antiquarian Society, 1995. Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1981, 1991, 1992. Alumni Award for Distinguished Scholarship, Doane College, 1991. Outstanding Faculty Award, Knox College, 1991. Lester J. Cappon Research Associate, Newberry Library, 1985-86. Research grants, American Council of Learned Societies, 1981, 1985. Research Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1982-83. Research grant, American Philosophical Society, 1980.


"Abraham Lincoln and the Shaping of Public Opinion," in Lincoln's Legacy of Leadership, ed. George R. Goethals and Gary L. McDowell, 2010.

"Prospects for Lincoln 2.5," Journal of American History, 96:2 (September 2009), 1-3.

"Reflections on Lincoln and English Studies," College English, 72:2 (December 2009), 156-57.

Review of The Road to Monticello: The Life and Mind of Thomas Jefferson, 2009.

"Groundwork for Greatness: Abraham Lincoln to 1854, " Abraham Lincoln: A Legacy for Freedom, U.S. Department of State, 2008.

"Terrific in Denunciation," Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities 29.1 (2008): 16-20.

"Presidential Biographies." Bookmarks Magazine 34, 16 (May/June, 2008)

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition, Edited with Rodney O. Davis, University of Illinois Press, 2008.

Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words. Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

Interview on Lincoln scholarship, Lincoln Lore 1885 (2006): 2-6.

Editor with Rodney O. Davis, Herndon's Lincoln University of Illinois Press, 2006.

"Lincoln the Persuader," The American Scholar 74.4 (2006): 31-43.

"Lincoln and Abolition," History Now Issue 6, (online), 2005.

"They Said He was a Lousy Speaker," Special Lincoln Issue, Time Magazine (July 4, 2005): 68-69.

"Herndon’s Dilemma: Abraham Lincoln and the Privacy Issue," Lincoln Lore 1877 (2004): 2-10.

"The Evolution of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 112.2 (2004): 99-133.

"A Note on the Text of Lincoln's Second Inaugural," Documentary Editing 24.2 (2002): 37-41.

"Young Man Lincoln," in The Lincoln Enigma: The Changing Faces of an American Icon ed. Gabor S. Boritt. Oxford University Press (2001): 20-35.

"William H. Herndon and Mary Todd Lincoln," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 22.2 (2001): 1-26.

"Collaborating with the Past: Remarks on Being Awarded the Lincoln Prize," in Accepting the Lincoln Prize: Two Historians Speak (2000): 39-56, (Gettysburg College).

"Keeping Lincoln's Secrets," The Atlantic Monthly 285.5 (2000): 78-88.

"Jefferson and Literacy," in Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen, ed. James Gilreath. Library of Congress (1999): 79-90.

"Lincoln and Lovejoy," "We Cannot Escape History": Papers from the Eleventh Annual Lincoln Colloquium ed. Linda Norbut Suits and Timothy P. Townsend. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, 1999.

Jefferson Abroad. Edited with Lucia Stanton. The Modern Library, 1999.

Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln. Edited with Rodney O. Davis, University of Illinois Press, 1998.

"Lincoln's Affair of Honor," The Atlantic Monthly 281.2 (1998) 64-71, 1998.

Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln. Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

Lincoln Before Washington: New Perspectives on the Illinois Years, University of Illinois Press, 1997.

Jefferson's Books, Monticello Monographs, 1996.

"The Unfinished Text of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 15.1 (1994): 70-84.

"A Most Abandoned Hypocrite" [unrecorded Lincoln satire], American Heritage 45.1 (1994): 36-49.

"William H. Herndon and the 'Necessary Truth,'" in Abraham Lincoln in the American Mind: Papers from the Eighth Annual Lincoln Colloquium ed. Linda Norbut Suits and George Painter. Lincoln Home National Historic Site (1994): 31-41.

"Editing Herndon's Informants," The Lincoln Herald 95.4 (1993 [1994]): 115-23.

"Jefferson and the Republic of Letters, " in Jeffersonian Legacies, Edited by Peter S. Onuf. University Press of Virginia (1993): 50-76.

"Thomas Jefferson's Library and the French Connection," Eighteenth-Century Studies 26.4 (1993): 669-85.

"William H. Herndon and his Lincoln Informants," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 14.1 (1993): 15-34.

"Thomas Jefferson's Library and the Skipwith List," Harvard Library Bulletin New Series 3.4 (1992–93): 56-72.

"Abraham Lincoln and 'that fatal first of January,'" Civil War History 38.2 (1992): 101-130.

"Thomas Jefferson and the Character Issue" [cover story], The Atlantic Monthly 270.5 (1992): 57-74.

"Abraham Lincoln's Indiana and the Spirit of Mortal," Indiana Magazine of History LXXXVII.2 (1991): 155-70.

"What Jefferson and Lincoln Read" [cover story], The Atlantic Monthly, 267.1 (1991): 51-62.

"Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, and the Evidence of Herndon's Informants," Civil War History, 36.4 (1990): 301-24.

"Jefferson vs. Hume," William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Series, XLVI (1989): 49-70.

Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Editor. Second Series, Princeton University Press, 1989.

Thomas Jefferson's Library: A Catalog With the Entries in His Own Order. Edited with James Gilreath, Library of Congress, 1989.

"The Fate of Jefferson's Farmer," North Dakota Quarterly, 56.4 (1988): 23-34.

"Jefferson's Library," in Thomas Jefferson: A Research Biography. Edited by Merrill D. Peterson. Charles Scribner's Sons (1986): 157-79.

"Thomas Jefferson's Early Notebooks," William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Series, XLII (1985): 433-52.

"Sowerby Revisited: The Unfinished Catalogue of Jefferson's Library," William and Mary Quarterly 3rd Series, XLI (1984): 615-28.

"The American agricola: Jefferson's Agrarianism and the Classical Tradition," South Atlantic Quarterly 80.3 (1981): 339-54.

The Genteel Tradition: Nine Essays by George Santayana. Editor. Harvard University Press, 1967.

Lectures and Papers "Abraham Lincoln and his Legacy: From Emancipation to Barack Obama," Lecture Tour, People's Republic of China, sponsored by the U. S. State Department, September 14–30, 2009.

"Words Fitly Spoken: Lincoln and Language," Library of Congress Bicentennial Symposium, March 4, 2009.

"Lincoln's Rhetoric," Abraham Lincoln Symposium, Springfield, IL, February 11–12, 2008.

"Abraham Lincoln," Aspen Institute, Webcast FORA.TV, 2008.

"Lincoln as a Writer," National Book Festival, Broadcast and Webcast, C-SPAN, Washington, DC, 2007.

"The Importance of Writing in Lincoln's Intellectual Foundation," Lincoln Shrine, Redlands, CA, 2007.

"President Lincoln's Hidden Assets," Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 2007.

"Reconsidering Herndon," Lincoln Forum, 2007.

"Books and Beyond." Library of Congress, Webcast, Library of Congress Web site, 2007.

"The Art of Presidential Writing," Abraham Lincoln Institute Symposium, Broadcast and Webcast, CSPAN, 2007.

"Jefferson's Library," Lecture, Boston Athenaeum, 2005.

"Lincoln's Sword," Lincoln Colloquium, Galesburg, IL, September 28, 2002.

"William H. Herndon and Mary Todd Lincoln," Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic, Library of Congress, March 25, 2001.

"Honor's Voice," Gilder Lehrman Institute History Forum, Pierpont Morgan Library, March 8, 1999.

"Young Man Lincoln," Gettysburg College, Sept. 9, 1999.

"The Young Abraham Lincoln," Books and Beyond Series, Library of Congress, February 24, 1998.

"Herndon's Dilemma: Abraham Lincoln and the Privacy Issue," McMurtry Lecture, Lincoln Museum, Ft. Wayne, IN, September 19, 1998.

"Jefferson and Learning," 200th anniversary of Jefferson's presidency of the American Philosophical Society, American Philosophical Society, June 18, 1997.

"Jefferson and Literacy," Library of Congress Research Conference: "Thomas Jefferson and Citizenship," May 13–15, 1993.

"Thomas Jefferson: The Man Who Couldn't Live Without Books," Jefferson Commemorative National Lecture Series. Delivered at American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA,; The Newberry Library, Chicago, IL,; The Florida Center for the Book, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

"Herndon and His Lincoln Informants," Abraham Lincoln Association Symposium, Old State Capitol, Springfield, Illinois, February 12, 1991.

"Thomas Jefferson's Library and the French Connection," Symposium on "Publishing and Readership in Revolutionary France and America," Library of Congress, May 2–3, 1989.


  1. ^ "Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Retrieved 2016-03-07.

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