Department of History at Winthrop


Bancroft- angled

Winthrop's Department of History is home to several faculty members who cover a wide range of fields and who have been honored with numerous awards. The department offers programs of study leading to the B.A. and M.A.

The Department of History is located in Bancroft Hall on the Winthrop campus. 

Department Highlights

Winthrop University hosted the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference:

The Department of History and the Alpha Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was proud that Winthrop University served as the host of the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Carolinas Regional Conference. Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students, professors of history, and all history friends who have taken many history courses and achieved success. Winthrop University's Alpha Tau chapter is the earliest chapter established in the Carolinas, back in 1947. For decades, the Alpha Tau Chapter at Winthrop has organized many cultural events and field trips to promote history and to build connections between Winthrop University and many Carolinian communities. With the sponsorship of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, and Ms. Maggie Elrod (an alumna of Winthrop's Department of History and Phi Alpha Theta member), the conference was held April 12-13 of 2019. The department and the Alpha Tau Chapter invited both graduate and undergraduate students in the Carolinas to attend this two-day event. For more details, please visit our Conference website.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Donald Rakestraw, Dr. Catherine Chang, Dr. Gregory Bell, Ms. Katie Hartnett, and Ms. Marlana Mayton or visit our Conference website and the Phi Alpha Theta website.

Rakestraw WebsterDr. Donald Rakestraw's new book on Daniel Webster is now available from Rowman & Littlefield and debuts with the endorsements of a number of prominent scholars of Nineteenth-century U.S. History and Foreign Relations:

"This persuasive diplomatic biography contends for Daniel Webster's place in the pantheon of great American statesmen--despite his infamously checkered role on slavery. By focusing on Webster's foreign policy record over decades of service in Congress and the State Department, Rakestraw compels us to reconsider the cumulative impact of Webster's profound contributions to peace and national security in fraught times, as well as his creative initiatives to grow US commerce and influence throughout the globe in an age of competing imperialisms. This is a deft reframing of Webster's story."
Robert E. May, Purdue University

"A finely crafted, well-researched, and carefully reasoned study of Daniel Webster as diplomatist as well as politician and lawyer. Nowhere else can both academics and general readers find a more succinct yet thorough account of this multifaceted figure who, with Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, made up the "Great Triumvirate" that dominated the political stage of mid-nineteenth-century America."
Howard Jones, University of Alabama

"For years, Daniel Webster's role as a diplomat has been somewhat obscured by the imposing shadow of contemporary John Quincy Adams. No longer. Donald Rakestraw, one of the leading historians of antebellum diplomacy, is singularly well equipped to bring light to Webster's achievements. The result is a relatively brief, highly readable book that provides excellent coverage of the major diplomatic issues of Webster's career and in the process brings Webster personage into sharper relief. Historians of the early republic and US diplomacy will find this a very useful work."
J. Chris Arndt, James Madison University


Dr. Lee's Visit to White House Dr. Eddie Lee, Professor of History and Mayor of the City of York, was invited in September 2018 to visit the White House for a series of briefings from top government officials as well as a tour of that historic structure. Among the Trump Administration officials who met with Dr. Lee were Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, Assistant Education Secretary of Education Mick Zais, and Assistant Press Secretary Hogan Gidley. Topics such as infrastructure, the federal budget, the media, and public education were discussed during the White House meeting. Dr. Lee commented, "As a historian, I enjoyed my tour of the mansion and as Mayor I appreciated the briefings on how the federal government can work with South Carolina's municipalities." 

 Professor of History Dr. Eddie Lee '83 has devoted much of his career to the study of history — particularly the history of South Carolina, his home state. To continue his legacy and support budding historians, Lee's friends and former pupils have established a scholarship for Winthrop graduate students.The J. Edward Lee Scholarship, an endowed fund, will provide one annual scholarship to a graduate student studying history, with first preference given to students who are interested in South Carolina history. Lee's friends and former studentsincluding six history professors, five current elected officials, a dozen educators and numerous entrepreneurshave contributed to the scholarship. For more information, contact Nate Brinkley or view the flyer (pdf- 161 kb).

Dr. Andy Doyle served as guest editor and contributed an article to the fall 2017 issue of the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. Published since 1903, the Register is the leading scholarly journal of Kentucky history. The issue contains articles on Muhammad Ali's fraught relationship with African Americans in his hometown of Louisville during the 1960s, the scandals that ensnared Adolph Rupp's University of Kentucky basketball program in the early 1950s, the role of the UK administration in desegregating the Southeastern Conference football, and a historiographical essay on Thoroughbred horse racing. Dr. Doyle's article covers the unlikely rise of Centre College, a school with about 200 students in Danville, Kentucky, to the heights of national football prominence in the early 1920s. In a response that is unique in the history of college sports, leaders of other southern universities joined to strip the college of its academic accreditation for its athletic violations. Faced with the destruction of the college itself, Centre consequently returned to athletic obscurity. It is available on Project MUSE.

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Silverman, who has been named editor of the premier Lincoln Journal in the country, The Lincoln Herald. For more information on Dr. Silverman's scholarship and this position, please see the full news release here.

In addition to contributing to articles on football culture in the south, Dr. Andy Doyle was also interviewed recently by ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times about the 1926 Rose Bowl, about which Dr. Doyle has written the only scholarly articles.

 Dr. Andy Doyle was interviewed by both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal for articles on the history and culture of football in the south. The NYT article, found here, focuses on the rise of Rock Hill specifically as a center for football recruitment and the history Rock Hill has as a "football town."

Congratulations to Dr. Eddie Lee, who was recently promoted to the rank of Professor! Dr. Lee serves the department and university as the Director of Graduate Studies in History as well as serving as mayor of York.

Dr. Jason Silverman continues his unique research on Abraham Lincoln this year following the release of Lincoln and the Immigrant, being named co-editor of "Abraham Lincoln Abroad," the journal of the International Lincoln Center at Louisiana State University. In addition, The International Lincoln Center has invited Dr. Silverman to deliver the 34th Annual Frank and Virginia Williams Abraham Lincoln Lecture October 20, 2017 in Louisiana as well as serve on the Lincolnator Advisory Board. Dr. Silverman's academic and scholarly achievements continue to be a point of pride for the department and the university; to learn more about Dr. Silverman and to donate to the Silverman Scholarship, please click here. 

History students Anna Lee and Carson Cope carried out internships in the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections under the guidance of Director Gina White, who is also a History graduate student. Anna and Carson worked to process and curate several collections in the Winthrop Archives, including one on a former Cryptology program at Winthrop during World War II, and another on the papers of Mrs. Betty Buff, an activist who worked to improve the lives of rural women involved in agriculture. You can read about these collections and more about the Archives here.

The History Department is proud to announce Dr. Eddie Lee's election as President of the South Carolina Association of Regional Councils of Governments. Dr. Lee serves as Mayor of York in addition to his scholarly work and has remained an active figure in local and state politics.


Above, Dr. Eddie Lee (left), and SC Lt. Governor Henry McMaster celebrate Dr. Lee's election at the SC Association of Regional Councils of Governments.

Another new addition to the Louise Pettus Archives are the Dr. Ross A. Webb Papers. A former chair of the History Department as well as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Webb authored A Torch is Passed, a history of Winthrop commissioned by the Board of Trustees in honor of Winthrop's centennial in 1984. You can read more about Dr. Webb and his collection here.

Please take a moment to watch Dr. Silverman's talk on President Lincoln and Immigration, posted on C-SPAN after his visit to Washington DC.

This spring, Dr. Jason Silverman gave several talks on his book, Lincoln and the Immigrant, stopping at Texas A&M International University as well as Washington D.C., where he served as the speaker for the Lincoln Group of D.C.


Above, Dr. Jason Silverman's talk, "Thieves, Greasers, and Mongrels: The Great Emancipator Encounters the Immigrant"  is advertised on a Texas billboard.

The department is proud to recognize the following students for their outstanding academic achievements:

Zach Rardon, winner of the Glen Broach Award

Breana Schoen, winner of the Bert Viault Award

Sara-Kate Hollis, winner of the Ross Webb Award, and

Hunter Crowley and Jordan Reilly, winners of the Fred Hembree Award.


Dr. Gregory Crider is serving as co-organizer of the 63rd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies in Cartagena, Colombia, being held this year March 9 - 13. SECOLAS is a multidisciplinary scholarly organization whose host institutions include Winthrop, UNC-Charlotte, and Wingate University. More than 250 participants from the US and Latin America are scheduled to attend this meeting! This is a great success and opportunity for the History department and Winthrop!

You can read more about this exciting conference here.



Dr. Jason Silverman served as the keynote speaker for the October 16 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Ceremony at Lincoln's Cottage in Washington, D.C. The Lincoln Cottage also hosted a book signing and lecture for Dr. Silverman based on his new book, Lincoln and the Immigrant.You can read the glowing press release for this event here. (pdf - 311 KB)


Above, Dr. Jason Silverman gives the keynote address at a USCIS Naturalization Ceremony. This address was broadcast over two local D.C. television stations, as well as CSPAN.


    American by Belief 8

Above, Dr. Jason Silverman gives one of two sold out book talks at the Lincoln Cottage in Washington, D.C.   
American By Belief 1

Above, Dr. Gregory CriderDr. Jason Silverman and Mrs. Susan Silverman, Director of Library Assessment celebrate Dr. Silverman's work at the Lincoln Cottage

 The History Department is excited to announce that Casey Epsich is the inaugural recipient of the Jason Silverman Scholarship! We want to congratulate both Casey and Dr. Silverman for this exciting achievement!

Dr. Jason Silverman's book, Lincoln and the Immigrant, is now available from Southern Illinois University Press! To celebrate the release of this anticipated book, Dr. Silverman will be a keynote speaker for an immigrant nationalization ceremony October 16, 2015 at the Lincoln Cottage in Washington, DC. In addition, Dr. Silverman has several other exciting events planned for his book release - please read more about his accomplishments here.

The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Eddie Lee  received the annual South Carolina Historical Preservation Award, presented by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, the S.C. Department of Archives and History, and the S.C. Governor's Office Friday, June 5, 2015. Dr. Lee earned this award for his hard work in preserving the York County Courthouse. You can read more about his work here.

 Lee Award Photo 1

Above, Lt. Governor Henry McMaster (left) and Mr. Michael Bedenbaugh, Executive Director of the Palmetto Trust (right) present Dr. Eddie Lee (center) the annual South Carolina Historical Preservation Award.

 Please take a moment to read over our updated Prospectus Guidelines for History M.A. students (pdf - 21 kb).

The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Eddie Lee, Associate Professor of History, as the new Director of Graduate Studies for the History MA program! Dr. Lee has a long, personal history with Winthrop; his mother received her undergraduate degree from Winthrop and he received his Master's degree from the university, as well.  Dr. Lee is locally renowned for his knowledge of Winthrop's history and he subsequently was selected to be the Convocation speaker for Winthrop's 125th academic year.  Dr. Lee's immense professional experience, which includes authorship or co-authorship of 15 books, service as a commissioner for the South Carolina Archives, and service on the Review Committee for the National Register of Historic Places, enables him to advise graduate students on the specific steps that they need to take in order to pursue their individual interest among the multitude of career opportunities that are possible with a History graduate degree.  Dr. Lee has also served as the mayor of the City of York for the last thirteen years and he also chairs the Catawba Regional Council of Governments. If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Lee about Winthrop University's Graduate Program in History, please contact him via e-mail

The History Department's Dr. Jason Silverman Scholarship is designated for any current or upcoming history major at Winthrop University and is a wonderful opportunity to honor Dr. Silverman's dedication to Winthrop and its students while also supporting current students in their educational pursuits. Please click here to contribute to this scholarship initiative. 


 Please check the history department's News and Events page for details about exciting opportunities, including cultural events sponsored by the History Department, and departmental news.

 Are you a current student or alumni of the History Department and want to share your achievements? We would love to hear from you! Please send us your news at Thank you!


Last Updated: 11/11/19