Image courtesy of Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019 Harry M. Ward Book Prize Winner

The 2019 Harry M. Ward Book Prize winner is Dr. Rod Andrew, Jr., Clemson University, for The Life and Times of General Andrew Pickens: Revolutionary War Hero, American Founder

Rod Andrew, Jr. presents a very complex Andrew Pickens.  He was a man who founded churches, established towns, owned plantations, and brought a stern sense of republican responsibility and egalitarianism to his duty as a public figure and revolutionary officer.  As a slaveholder, Pickens was a Southerner of his times, but he did as much as any of his countrymen to establish the new republic.  This included desperate years as a partisan officer, during which he served not only gallantly, but brilliantly. He was one of the most effective militia commanders in the entire South, and he worked well with other rebel leaders, including Continental major general Nathanael Greene.  Pickens fought hard against the British, regional loyalists, and American Indians; but as Andrew suggests, his moral code caused him to wrestle internally with the issue of slavery and, after the war, to insist on fair dealings with the Southern Indian tribes. Pickens certainly was, as Andrew’s title indicates, a Revolutionary War Hero, and an American Founder. This is biography at its best.

Presentation of this award is scheduled during the 9th Annual Conference on the American Revolution, March 20-22, 2020, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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