Phillip W. Magness

U.S. Economic & Political History

Why I consider Ben Butler (mostly) credible

| February 25, 2014

My dispute with Allen Guelzo has stirred up a bit of debate about the issue of colonization during the Lincoln presidency and my own interpretations of the evidence. I don’t plan to use this blog to weigh in on every point of the discussion, some of which are addressed in my latest article on the subject. I […]

Lincoln & Colonization: understanding the documents issue

| February 23, 2014

Contrary to the recent insinuations otherwise, the colonization efforts Abraham Lincoln are reasonably well documented. We know the approximate dates of most of his active colonization experiments during the Civil War years. We have a rough time frame for several dozen recollected conversations on the topic that were recorded by Lincoln’s contemporaries. And we have […]

Presidential Survey – Rating the Middle of the Pack

| February 22, 2014

Last week I took part in a President’s Day Survey to rate the historical performance of the previous occupants of the White House. I elaborated briefly upon my choices for the top and the bottom of the list, though my findings were also somewhat atypical for such surveys – including historians of both the left and […]

When a 3-time Lincoln Prize winner engages in professional misconduct…

| February 19, 2014

Allen Guelzo of Gettysburg College is presently engaged in a willfully mendacious portrayal of my ongoing research into Abraham Lincoln’s Civil War era colonization programs. This is not a lightly proffered criticism, but it is one I make note of to differentiate it from the honest interpretive disagreements that historians often have when considering a […]

Rating the Presidents

| February 18, 2014

In commemoration of President’s Day, I was recently asked to participate in a historians’ survey of presidential rankings sponsored by my friends at Franklin’s Opus. The cumulative results may be found at the link and are fairly unique for surveys of this type in that they are significantly more introspective than the typical surveys of […]