Abraham Lincoln Association Awards

The Logan Hay Medal

The Logan Hay Medal recognizes individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the mission of the Abraham Lincoln Association: to observe each anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln; to preserve and make more accessible the landmarks associated with his life; and to actively encourage, promote, and aid the collection and dissemination of authentic information regarding all phases of his life and career.

The award was established in 1967 by the ALA and Logan Hay descendants in honor of Logan Hay, an important figure in the ALA’s formation. By tradition, members of the Hay family offer input on selection of the recipient. The bronze medal is awarded infrequently and is the highest honor given by the ALA.

Lewis Lehrman is an investment manager, historian, and philanthropist. He co-founded the Lincoln & Soldiers Institute at Gettysburg College, which annually awards the Lincoln Prize for the best work on the Lincoln era. Along with Richard Gilder, he built the Gilder Lehrman Collection of original historical manuscripts and documents to teach American History from primary sources; the collection is available for public access at the New York Historical Society. Mr. Lehrman is the author of a number of books including Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning PointLincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War, and Lincoln “by littles.” In 1982, he ran for governor of New York, narrowly losing to Mario Cuomo. Lehrman was presented the National Humanities Medal at the White House in 2005 for his work in American history and he is a Distinguished Member of The Abraham Lincoln Association. He received his B.A. from Yale and his M.A. in history from Harvard.

Cullom Davis was a founding faculty member of Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois-Springfield) and Emeritus Professor of History. He was briefly dean of Brookens Library. A strong campus advocate and fundraiser, he brought significant gifts to UIS for Brookens Library, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, NPR Illinois, and other programs. His vision in creating the Lincoln Legal Papers Project at SSU in the 1980s, and his generous support since, produced the innovative Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a joint initiative of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and the Abraham Lincoln Association.

Author and teacher, for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of Lincoln scholarship

Author and teacher, for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of Lincoln scholarship

President of the Association, for his service to the Association and to his efforts in resuming a regular publication program resulting in The Papers of the Abraham Lincoln Association

Congressman of the 20th Illinois District, for his untiring efforts in the creation of the Lincoln Home National Historic Park

Mayor of Springfield, for the constancy of his efforts in preserving the Lincoln Home Area as a worthy memorial to Abraham Lincoln

President of the Association, for his guidance of the Association and most especially in the production of the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln

President of the Association, posthumously, for his efforts in re-activating the Association and restoration of the Old State Capitol

Governor of Illinois, for his efforts in the restoration of the Old State Capitol

The Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize

The Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize recognizes and encourages young scholars to conduct research on Abraham Lincoln and his times. The Abraham Lincoln Institute and the Abraham Lincoln Association select the recipients and underwrite the annual prize of $1,000. The first year, both organizations selected recipients. The award alternates between each organization from year to year. A panel of five scholars representing each entity serves as the jury.

“‘This Despotic and Arbitrary Power’: British Diplomacy and Resistance in the Habeas Corpus Controversy of the American Civil War” (University of Akron, deposited 2018), University of Akron.

“A Shrine for President Lincoln: An Analysis of Lincoln Museums and Historic Sites, 1816-2015,” Western Michigan University.

“Lincoln’s Divided Legion: Loyalty and Political Culture of the Army of the Potomac 1861-1865,” Ohio State University.

“Lincoln’s Conservatives: Conservative Unionism and Political Tradition in the Civil War Era,” Southern Illinois University.

“Sounding ‘The Mystic Chords of Memory’: Musical Memorials for Abraham Lincoln, 1865-2009,” The University of Cincinnati.

“Abraham Lincoln’s Northwestern Apporach to the Secession Crisis,” Rice University.

“Lincoln’s Ghosts: The Posthumous Career of an American Icon,” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address,” Texas A&M University. The dissertation was then published as The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013).

“The Great Question of War: The Legal Status of Secession in the Aftermath of the American Civil War, 1865-1869,” University of Virginia.

“The Anti-Lincoln Tradition in American Life,” The University of Houston. The dissertation was then published as Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present (Louisiana State University Press, 2014).

“‘To Aid Their Rebel Friends’: Politics and Treason in the Civil War North,” University of Maryland at College Park. The dissertation was then published as Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman (Louisiana State University Press, 2011).

“Trial by Fire: Abraham Lincoln and the Law,” CUNY Graduate School and University Center.

“Shall it be Peace or a Sword? Northern Political Culture and the Crisis of Secession, 1860-1861,” Clark University. The dissertation was then published as Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession (University of North Carolina Press, 2008).

“Lincoln’s Political Generals,” Texas A & M University. The dissertation was then published as Lincoln’s Political Generals (University of Illinois Press, 2009).

“The Civil War and Northern Society,” Princeton University. The dissertation was then published as Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North (Oxford University Press, 2006).

Matthew Parks, “Self-Evident No More: American Political Thought, 1820-1850,” Boston University.

“The Social and Cultural Origins of Sectional Politics: Illinois from Statehood to Civil War,” Northwestern University.

“Mystic Chords: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, American Imagined Community, 1808-1860,” University of Kansas. Books: Lincoln and Davis: Imagining America, 1809-1865 (2001), Waging War on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents (On Trial) (2003).

“Lincoln’s Religious Rhetoric: American Romanticism and the Antislavery Impulse,” University of Chicago. Book: Lincoln, Religion, and Romantic Cultural Politics (2003).

“The Lincoln Administration and the Southwestern Territories,” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Abraham Lincoln Student Award

The Abraham Lincoln Student Award recognizes the best research paper and best media project on Abraham Lincoln submitted at the annual Illinois History Exposition. Students develop projects in middle school and high school. Two five-hundred dollar prizes are available each year. Winners often go on to compete at the National History Fair.

“A Shrine for President Lincoln: An Analysis of Lincoln Museums and Historic Sites, 1816-2015,” Western Michigan University.

Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, Illinois

Niles West High School, Niles, Illinois

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858, St. Giles School, Oak Park, Illinois

Abraham Lincoln, Carbondale Community High School, Carbondale, Illinois

The First Abraham Lincoln Museum, Blessed Sacrament School, Springfield, Illinois

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and Their Effect on the 1860 Presidential Election, Grace Lutheran School, Chicago, Illinois

Civil War Censorship and the Suppression of the Chicago Times, Lincoln Park High School

Lincoln’s Changing Views on Slavery, Lincoln Magnet School, Springfield, Illinois.

Illinois: Ideological Battleground of the Nation, University High School, Normal, Illinois

Lincoln the Lawyer Award

The Lincoln the Lawyer Award recognizes individuals who reflect the character and ideals of Abraham Lincoln in their legal careers. The award is given infrequently.

Peoria attorney Tim Bertschy championed many important causes during his long and distinguished legal career. He spent the majority of his career handling business litigation and local government issues, winning a number of substantial and precedent-setting verdicts in the process.


Bertschy won the Illinois State Bar Association’s (ISBA) Lincoln Writing Award as a young attorney, earned a seat on the ISBA board, and was later elected the organization’s president. Bertschy was part of an ISBA team that helped to transform Illinois’ complex system of statutes into a more logical and user-friendly system. As ISBA president, Bertschy led the board to call for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty following several high-profile exonerations, and proposed the adoption of a fund that provides money for defendants in capital cases who can’t afford adequate legal representation.

Bertschy and Chicago attorney Michael Pope co-chaired a project to provide legal services for the needy, which resulted in the creation of the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation. The foundation helped families in crisis, victims of domestic violence, and senior citizens facing abuse and financial exploitation.

Floyd Abrams is an American attorney at Cahill Gordon & Reindel. He is an expert on constitutional law, and many arguments in the briefs he has written before the Supreme Court of the United States have been adopted as United States Constitutional interpretative law as it relates to the First Amendment and free speech.

Rockford, Illinois

Attorney, Urbana, Illinois

Retired Supreme Court Justice of Rhode Island

World-renowned Chicago Civil Rights Attorney

United States Attorney for the Central District of Illinois

United States District Judge for the Central District of Illinois

Distinguished Legal Scholar and Lincoln Biographer

Circuit Judge United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Former Governor of Illinois

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois

Senior United States District Judge, Chicago

The Spirit of Lincoln Award

The Spirit of Lincoln Award recognizes individuals who have displayed the spirit of Abraham Lincoln in their professional careers for the betterment of humanity. The award itself is a bust of Abraham Lincoln by Illinois sculptor John McClarey specifically created for this award.

President Lincoln and his administration were the force behind many laws that Americans still feel the effects of today. The fact that he worked to improve the lives of Americans through legislation while serving as commander-in-chief during the Civil War inspired a committee of the ALA board members to create this annual award.

“His administration gave us several gifts which we still enjoy today,” said Dr. Wayne Temple, Distinguished Director of the ALA and Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives. “The Morrill Act gave federal lands to the States so that they might create land -grant colleges or universities one in each state. The National Bank Act improved banking. The Pacific Highway Act brought about the transcontinental railroad. The Homestead Act opened up the great West for settlement to those without large financial means.”


Dr. Rodney Davis and Dr. Douglas Wilson, co-directors of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois; editors of the Knox College Lincoln Studies Center Series; and the co-editors of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Studies Center Edition, Herndon's Lincoln, and Herndon's Informants. 2016 Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, in memory of her parents 2015 Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman


Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, in memory of her parents


Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Rita B. Garman

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes scholars who have made a significant impact on the field of Lincoln studies.

Dr. Wayne C. Temple is an internationally recognized authority on Abraham Lincoln. Virtually all researchers in the field of Lincoln history have availed themselves of his knowledge. He is among 30 individuals, from around the world, honored with a special Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial edition of the Order of Lincoln – the highest honor that can be awarded by the State of Illinois. Temple has held many positions, including: Curator Ethnohistory at the Illinois State Museum; Editor-in-Chief of the Lincoln Herald – the only quarterly journal on Abraham Lincoln in the world and the oldest such Lincoln publication, starting in 1897; Secretary-Treasurer of the National Lincoln-Civil War Council; Memorial Bibliography committee for Lincoln Lore; Editorial Advisory Board for the American Biographical Institute; Board of Governors for the St. Louis Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children; and Trustee Regent for the Lincoln Academy. He also served as the Chief Deputy Director of the Illinois State Archives. He is a life fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, among many other organizations. Temple served under Eisenhower in Europe during World War II. He received a B.S. in Engineering, and an M.A. and a PhD. in history from the University of Illinois, where he was a research assistant to Prof. J.G. Randall, “Dean of the Lincoln Scholars.” He then earned his A.M. and Ph.D degrees under the direction of Prof. Randall and Prof. Richard N. Current. Among his books on the 16th President are Abraham Lincoln: From Skeptic to Prophet and By Square and Compass: Saga of the Lincoln Home.