Weber, Jennifer L.

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Weber, Jennifer L.


Education: Northwestern University, B.S., 1984; California State University, Sacramento, M.A., 1998; Princeton University, M.A., 2000, Ph.D., 2003. Hobbies and other interests: Current events, politics, sports, music, movies, novels, and traveling.


Office—Department of History, University of Kansas, 3650 Wescoe Hall, 1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045. E-mail—[email protected].


Hemet News, Hemet, CA, reporter and photographer, 1985-87; Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, CA, reporter, 1987-88; Times Advocate Escondido, CA, reporter, 1988-92; Senator Lucy Killea, San Diego, CA, press secretary, 1992-93; Assemblywoman Dede Alpert, Sacramento, CA, legislative aide, 1994-95; Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA, celebrity gossip columnist, copy and wire editor, 1995-98; Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, lecturer, 2003-05; University of Kansas, Lawrence, assistant professor of history, 2005—. Also served as chief advisor to the Women Legislators' Caucus, 1993-94. Member of advisory panel, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial.


Princeton University Center for Human Values graduate fellow, 2001-02; Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History fellow, 2001-02; grants from State Historical Library of Iowa, 2001, Minnesota Historical Society, 2001, Illinois State Historical Library, 2001, Princeton University Center for International Studies, 2001 and 2002, University of Kansas New Faculty Research Grant, 2006, White House Historical Association, 2006, and University of Kansas Faculty Research Grant, 2007; Hay-Nicolay Prize for best dissertation, Abraham Lincoln Institute and Abraham Lincoln Association, 2005.


Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to books, including International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd edition, Macmillan Reference USA (Woodbridge, CT), 2007; and Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency, Facts on File, 2008. Contributor of articles and book reviews to periodicals, including North & South, American Studies, Catholic History Review, Civil War Book Review, Civil War History, Journal of American History, and Washington Monthly.


In Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North, historian Jennifer L. Weber tells the story of the opposition to Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. That opposition came not only from the secessionists in the South but also from Democrats in the North, who were against the Republicans for reasons unrelated to slavery. The Democrats (whom Republican propagandists labeled "copperheads" after dangerous snakes) held Lincoln and his party responsible for the breakdown in order that had plagued the country for the previous decade. "The Peace Democrats would sometimes use this moniker to refer to themselves, too," Weber told an interviewer for the Oxford University Press Web log, "but they would argue for a different definition of the term. At the time of the Civil War, pennies, being made of copper, were also called ‘copperheads.’ On one side of the penny was a bust of Lady Liberty. Part of the reason antiwar Democrats opposed Lincoln was because they thought he was trampling the Constitution and their civil liberties. So when they referred to themselves as copperheads their message was that they were the defenders of liberty." Weber, stated Randall M. Miller in Library Journal, "writes well, and points to a more contested Democratic Party and a less unified Union than many histories suggest."



Library Journal, October 1, 2006, Randall M. Miller, review of Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North, p. 91.


A Few Questions for Jennifer Weber, (July 7, 2007), author interview.

University of Kansas Department of History, (July 7, 2007), author biography.