Civil War Forum


David W. Blight Wins 2019 William H. Seward Award

The Civil War Forum was honored to present its 2019 William H. Seward Award for Excellence in Civil War Biography to David W. Blight for his 2018 book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, the 2019 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History. David Blight is currently professor of American History at Yale University since 2003, after having taught for 13 years at Amherst College, and at Harvard University before that. At Yale, he is also the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition. He has served as the William Pitt Professor of American History at England's Cambridge University; the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th Century American History at the esteemed Huntington Library in California; and a Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library, in addition to having been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His previous works on this facet of American History are Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee; Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation; and Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the American Civil War. He has numerous other writing and editing accomplishments, has been a Book Review editor for several leading newspapers, and teaches summer institutes for park rangers and historians in the National Park Service. Read more about David Blight at

The Seward Award is endowed through the generosity of James W. Davis, a founding member of the Forum.  The Award includes an invitation to visit the Forum in New York City and a $2,000 stipend.  Winners are chosen by the Forum's Seward Award Committee. Past winners of the Seward Award are listed below.

About the Charles K. Schwarz Lecture

The Forum holds a series of lectures in memory of our beloved colleague, guiding spirit, and founding member Charles K. Schwarz.  Charlie died in September 2016 at age 87 and is missed by all who knew him.  He had a keen mind and an encyclopedic memory, as anyone who talked about baseball, hockey, movies, or politics can attest, and his passion (second only to his family) was the Civil War. 

 Charlie's family and friends made a generous contribution to the Forum in his memory and many Forum members added their own memorial contributions.  The Forum's Board and Charlie's family agreed that an appropriate way to use these funds, and one that Charlie would have liked, would be for a series of lectures in Charlie's memory.

The inaugural Charles K. Schwarz Lecture was held on September 25, 2017, at Villa Mosconi, 69 MacDougall Street, New York City. The speaker was Dr. Anthony Waskie of Temple University.  Dr. Waskie was especially appropriate as a speaker for this Lecture beyond his expertise on the Civil War because he has devoted a lifetime of effort to advancing the study and understanding of the Civil War in Philadelphia.  In addition to serving as co-chair of the Civil War & Emancipation Studies Program at Temple University (where he is also an Assistant Professor of German), he is Vice-President of the Grand Army of the Republic Museum in Philadelphia, President of the General Meade Society, and a Trustee of the Laurel Hill Cemetery.  Dr. Waskie is the author of Philadelphia and the Civil War, which was published by History Press in 2011.