David Herbert Donald (right) calls himself "an accidental historian." He stumbled into studying history in graduate school at the University of Illinois because it was the most interesting and opportune thing for him to do at the time.
Donald said this about himself and his colleagues: "We are not speculators; we are historians -- and we should stay that way. As historians we tend to be conservative, ascertaining verifiable facts and basing our work on the documents."
Donald's former student, Matthew Pinsker, is to the left. To young, aspiring Lincoln scholars in the audience, Donald offered encouragement: "The best is yet to come."
Photos and text © Gleaves Whitney 2005