Writing & Research

Featured Books

Our American Story

Our American Story features a collection of provocative essays by leading thinkers and public figures addressing the same central question—what is the unifying American story? Following decades of tribal division, we lack a central story to celebrate and enrich with deeper meaning. This book explores whether a unifying story can be achieved and, if so, what that story may be.

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Abe’s Youth

Abe’s Youth, co-edited with William “Bill” Bartelt, unearths vital primary source material and provides the first fully annotated edition of Lincoln Inquiry papers. This volume offers indispensable reading for anyone hoping to investigate Abraham Lincoln’s youth and serves as a gateway for general readers into the environment of Lincoln’s early life.

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Books

Academic / Legal Publications and Teaching

  • “The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Local Human Rights Ordinances,” The Network, a publication of the Indiana State Bar Association (July 2016). Winner of the Donald R. Lundberg Writing Award presented annually by the Indiana State Bar Association.
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Evansville, 2013. Taught Business Organizations (LS 350), a course on the legal organization of business entities, emphasizing the role of lawyers in forming various business organizations.
  • Research assistant to Prof. Gerard Magliocca (Indiana University McKinney School of Law). Assisted in the research and composition of Constitutional False Positives and the Populist Movement, 81 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 821 (2006). My research for this article also contributed to a subsequent book: Andrew Jackson and the Constitution: The Rise and Fall of Generational Regimes (Lawrence: U of Kansas Press, 2007).
  • Executive Articles Editor, Indiana Health Law Review, Vol. 3. Solicited and edited articles; ultimately responsible for accepting or rejecting articles submitted for publication in volume 3, which was comprised of two issues featuring ten articles, four student notes, and a symposium.

Book Reviews

Popular Press Publications

  • How Congress made it easier to sue Israel, The Hill, 6 Feb. 2017.
  • Republicans face a great fork in the road, Howey Politics Indiana, 2 February 2017.
  • Suing the Saudis Would Be a Mistake, The American Spectator, 4 November 2016.
  • Five Legal and Constitutional Concerns with Indiana’s Public Question 1, Evansville Courier & Press, 30 October 2016.
  • Trump Veep Pence Shies From Another Religious Liberty Battle In Indiana, The Federalist, 17 August 2016.
  • Suzanne Crouch Knows How To Govern, Howey Politics Indiana, 2 August 2016.
  • Dumping Trump Would Be Undemocratic And Counterproductive, The Federalist, 13 July 2016.
  • Why You Should Wear Orange This Saint Patrick’s Day, The Federalist, 17 March 2016.
  • Civil War helped shape modern America, Evansville Courier & Press, 9 April 2015.
  • Was Jesus really crucified on a Wednesday?, Patheos, 16 April 2014.
  • Both Masons and their lodge face a perilous future, Evansville Courier & Press, 22 May 2011.
  • Research

    Lincoln Research

    I focus much of my research on Abraham Lincoln—his youth, his life, and his lasting legacy. Some of the research yielded a book, Abe’s Youth, co-edited with William Bartelt, along with numerous articles. I am also working on a complete history of Lincoln’s youth in Kentucky and Indiana. Read more here.

    Civil War Research

    My passion for the American Civil War and historic research in this field is strong. I maintain memberships and leadership positions with a number of Civil War organizations. I am also in the process of researching and writing a new regimental history. Read more here.

    Claybourn Genealogical Society

    I began the Claybourn Genealogical Society (CGS) to assemble and record data and information on ancestors and descendants of the family. CGS also works to preserve and safeguard manuscripts, books, cemeteries, and memorabilia relating to Claybourns. Read more here.

    Rare Book Collection

    Our rare book collection consists of books with publication dates ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries along with several signed first editions. We also maintain several other collections of historic printed or published writings. Read more here.

    Selected Presentations

    • “Municipal Resolutions, Ordinances and Codifications,” Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers (2018)
    • “Consolidation of Local Income Taxes,” Jackson Kelly PLLC Municipal Law Seminar (2017)
    • “The Arc of Our New History,” Indiana Political Science Association (2017)
    • “The American Presidency” (Roundtable), Indiana Political Science Association (2017, 2018)
    • “Little Egypt Goes to War,” Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable (2017)
    • “Lincoln’s Almanac Trial,” Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable (2015)
    • “Post-Civil War Fraternities,” Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable (2014)

    Personal Reflections

    Travel Diaries