David K. Thomson

Robert C. Anderson Memorial Award 2017

David K. Thomson, a recent doctoral graduate in history, is recognized for his groundbreaking scholarship on financing of the American Civil War, which cost the federal government $3.2 billion. Thomson traveled across the U.S. and globally to understand the role of finance in securing victory for the Union cause. His dissertation uncovers the degree to which Wall Street, investment banking and the democratization of the sale of financial instruments all trace their roots to the Civil War, laying a foundation for the rise of the U.S. as a dominant player in global finance in the 20th century. His manuscript documents not just the financial history of the bond drive but also the social history of those who sold the bonds and the thousands of ordinary citizens who were persuaded to invest in the debt of an imperiled nation. Thomson is currently an assistant professor at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.