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Joshua Claybourn is an American attorney, author, and historian.

Joshua Claybourn
Born (1981-06-10) June 10, 1981 (age 38)
Alma materKelley School of Business (B.S.)
Indiana Univ. School of Law (J.D.)
OccupationLawyer, historian
Board member ofAbraham Lincoln Association, Abraham Lincoln Institute

Early life and educationEdit

Claybourn is a native of Evansville, Indiana. He graduated from North High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Thereafter he earned a law degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and served as a research assistant to Professor Gerard Magliocca during his work on Andrew Jackson and the Constitution: The Rise and Fall of Generational Regimes.[1]


Legal workEdit

Claybourn is an attorney with the law firm of Jackson Kelly representing governmental entities and officials, as well as businesses and corporations.[2] Citing Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, Claybourn appeared before the Indiana Election Commission and successfully challenged a 23-year-old person's legal right to appear on the ballot as a candidate for Congress in Indiana's 8th congressional district.[3][4] He previously served as an adjunct professor of business law at the University of Evansville. Despite high-profile criticism of Donald Trump, members of his transition team sought Claybourn's interest in a legal role with the administration, suggesting his involvement would be "good for unity".[5]

Historian and punditEdit

Much of Claybourn's scholarship focuses on Abraham Lincoln's youth in Indiana. He is a co-editor (with William Bartelt) of Abe’s Youth: Shaping the Future President (Indiana University Press, 2019).[6][7] He is a board member of both the Abraham Lincoln Association and Abraham Lincoln Institute, former chair of the Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable,[8] and former trustee and president of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.[9][10]

Claybourn is also editor of Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative (Potomac Books, 2019), a collection of essays by theorists, historians, and politicians addressing the possibility of a shared narrative within a country divided by political polarization. Contributors to the project include Cass Sunstein, Gordon S. Wood, John Danforth, Richard Epstein, David Blight, Markos Moulitsas, Alan Taylor, Eleanor Clift, Jim Banks, Nikolas Gvosdev, Ilya Somin, Cherie Harder, Gerard Magliocca, Jason Kuznicki, Cody Delistraty, Spencer Boyer, Ali Wyne, and James Wertsch. Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book's "responses are all over the map, provocatively so . . ."[11]

Claybourn is an adjunct scholar with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and his work has appeared in USA Today, The Hill, The Federalist, The American Spectator, National Review Online, American Thinker, and World Magazine, as well as regional publications such as the Indianapolis Star, Evansville Courier & Press, The News-Sentinel, and The Herald-Times.[12][1] On television he has commented on current events on CNN, MSNBC, and NHK. Previously he was a blogger that radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt included among the "next generation of bloggers" and a reason "to be very optimistic about the future of the blogosphere."[13] Claybourn is an outspoken advocate of home rule, a principle in Indiana and several other states that generally grants municipalities the power to govern themselves as they see fit.[14][15]


Claybourn was cited as a "key supporter" of Congressman Larry Bucshon of Indiana's 8th congressional district.[3] He was a principal adviser to Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke's campaign and was a part of Winnecke's 2012 transition team.[16] He also served as a top adviser during Winnecke's successful 2015 re-election campaign, which made Winnecke the first Republican Evansville mayor to be re-elected in 40 years.[17]

In 2016, Claybourn was selected as an Indiana delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.[18] A day after Donald Trump's win in the Indiana primary which made Trump the party's presumptive nominee, Claybourn was one of the first to resign his position as a delegate because he "could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump".[19][20] The New York Times noted Mr. Claybourn would have been bound to vote for Mr. Trump on the first ballot, "a step he said he simply could not stomach".[19] In a statement Claybourn said, "Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party's nominee. But he will not be my nominee, and I will not attend a convention celebrating his candidacy."[19]


  • Claybourn, Joshua A., ed. Our American Story: The Search for a Shared National Narrative. Lincoln: Potomac Books, 2019.
  • Bartelt, William, and Joshua A. Claybourn, eds. Abe’s Youth: Shaping the Future President. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019.
  • Claybourn, Joshua A., ed. Born of Clay: The Story of the Claiborne · Claybourn · Clayborn Families in the United States. Evansville: Claybourn Genealogical Society, 2016.


  1. ^ a b "Writing & Research". Joshua Claybourn.
  2. ^ Hall, Shannon (January 5, 2016). "Chandler appoints new attorney". Courier & Press. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Langhorne, Thomas (February 18, 2016). "Bucshon supporter challenges 23-year-old woman's right to run for 8th District". Courier & Press. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Osowski, Zach (February 19, 2016). "Tied commission vote will keep Young on U.S. Senate ballot". Courier & Press. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  5. ^ Berg, Rebecca (November 12, 2016). "Pence Role as Transition Leader Hints at Insider Mix". RealClear Politics.
  6. ^ Claybourn, Joshua. "From the Desk of Joshua A. Claybourn: Finding Our Sense of National Identity". UNP Blog. University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  7. ^ "Writing & Research". Joshua Claybourn. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "About". Southern Indiana Civil War Roundtable. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Board of Trustees". Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. 2009. Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Board of Trustees". Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. 2013. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "KIRKUS REVIEW". Kirkus Reviews. March 24, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  12. ^ "Joshua Claybourn". The Federalist. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  13. ^ Hewitt, Hugh. "The Next Generation of Bloggers". Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  14. ^ Claybourn, Joshua (May 7, 2016). "Claybourn: In defense of Hoosier home rule". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Claybourn, Joshua (May 6, 2017). "General Assembly home rule encroachments". Howey Politics Indiana. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Sarkissian, Arek (December 2, 2011). "Winnecke: Transition team has received 220 resumes for 37 positions". Courier & Press. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  17. ^ Martin, John (November 3, 2015). "Winnecke elected to second term as Evansville mayor". Courier & Press. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  18. ^ Cook, Tony (April 14, 2016). "Indiana GOP names delegates to Republican National Convention". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c Peters, Jeremy (June 1, 2016). "'I Can Watch It on TV': Excuses for Republicans Skipping a Donald Trump Convention". New York Times. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  20. ^ Kopan, Tal (May 12, 2016). "With Trump as nominee, delegate spots lose appeal for Republicans". CNN. Retrieved July 27, 2016.

External linksEdit