Professor Elizabeth Leonard, Colby’s John J. and Cornelia V. Gibson Professor of History, recently received an advance book contract from the University of North Carolina Press for a biography of Benjamin Franklin Butler, a renowned Union general in the Civil War and a member of Colby’s Class of 1838.
The book, slated for publication in 2019 or 2020, will be part of UNC Press’s highly regarded “Civil War America” series. Leonard’s first contribution to that series, Lincoln’s Forgotten Ally: Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt of Kentucky, was published in 2011 and went on to win the prestigious Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize in 2012.
Leonard will present a balanced account of the life and work of the very complicated and interesting historical figure, Butler, who has been unduly maligned in the past, she said. This will be her sixth book on the Civil War era. Currently in the early stages of her research, she has conducted preliminary work on Butler here at Colby using materials from the College’s archives in Special Collections.