Twelve years background as a trial lawyer and prosecutor give Dr. Long a somewhat unique perspective on Lincoln among the community of scholars who have written about the sixteenth president. He understands the meaning of what it is to “think like a lawyer” and to understand Lincoln one must be able to understand that the man’s career had been in advocacy, and that he was able to serve that role from either side of the bar.
Graduating from the Ohio State University in 1969 and the OSU College of Law in 1972, Long took up a career as a lawyer. His first courtroom appearance as counsel of record was in a first degree murder case in 1973. Though his client was innocent the jury found otherwise and the judge sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment. Refusing to accept that such an injustice could be permitted to stand, Long pursued the trail of evidence in the case and ultimately learned the identity of the real killer, and after a difficult appeal process was eventually able to get the court to award a new trial. At that second trial he was able to establish his client’s innocence by proving the guilt of somebody else. Nearly three years after his client was first arrested and charged, the wrongfully imprisoned defendant was found not guilty by the second jury, and gained back the freedom that had previously been forfeited as a result of a life sentence.
Long practiced law for twelve years, before returning to graduate school in 1987 at Florida State University. There he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in nineteenth century American history, and almost immediately published his dissertation The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election and the End of Slavery. The book was nominated for five of the most prestigious prizes in the field of U.S. history….the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, The Beveridge Award, the Parkman Award, and the Lincoln Prize. He has since published chapters in books including “I Shall Never Recall A Word” in Abraham Lincoln: Sources and Styles of Leadership and the Introduction in Abraham Lincoln: Contemporary. He has published articles or book reviews in Civil War Times Illustrated, Columbiad, Lincoln Herald, Journal of Southern History, and other journals and periodicals.
Long has played a key role in the creation of the Lincoln Forum, and was primarily responsible for bringing to light the Soldiers Home residence where Lincoln and his family lived for over a year of his presidency. He is currently close to publication of two books, one about Lincoln’s first election in 1860, and the other about a controversial cavalry raid on Richmond in 1864 that involved Lincoln in an attempt to assassinate Jefferson Davis.
The Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election and the End of Slavery. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1994.http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/history/Lon...