Professor Lucas teaches courses covering American history from the colonial period through the Civil War and Reconstruction. His research interests lie in antebellum Southern politics and military justice during the Civil War.
- Ph.D. in history, Cornell University, 1983
- M.A., Cornell University, 1981
- B.A., University of Virginia, 1975
- "Beyond McCormick and Miles: The Pre-Partisan Political Culture of Mississippi," The Journal of Mississippi History (1982).
- "'To Carry Out Great Fundamental Principles': The Antebellum Southern Political Culture," The Journal of Mississippi History (1990).
- "Official Legislative Records and Publications," in Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System, Joel H. Silbey (ed.). (Charles Scribners, 1994).
- "Commissioner Kuhn Victorious over Owner Finley (Charles O. Finley & Co., Inc. v Kuhn)," in Sports and the Law, Charles E. Quirk (ed.). (Garland, 1996).
- "Linn Boyd"; "John Macpherson Berrien"; "Charles Anderson Wickliffe"; "Josiah B. Grinnell" in American National Biography. (Oxford, 1999).
- "Selma, Alabama"; "Samuel R. Curtis"; "Albert Gallatin Brown"; "Salisbury Prison"; "Henry Wirz" in Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler (eds.). (ABC-Clio, 2000; reissue W.W. Norton, 2002).
- "Presidential Elections: The Civil War," in Americans at War: Society, Culture, and the Homefront, Sally G. McMillen (ed.). (Macmillan, 2004).
- "Fourteenth Amendment," in Milestone Documents in American History, Paul Finkelman (ed.). (Salem Press, 2008).
- "Know Nothing Party," in The Essential Lincoln: A Political Encyclopedia, Paul Finkelman (ed.). (Congressional Quarterly Press, 2008).
- "Marcellus M. Crocker"; "Stephen Kearny" in Iowa Biographical Dictionary, Marvin Bergman (ed.). (University of Iowa Press, 2008).
- "John Quincy Adams," in Milestone Documents of American Leaders, Paul Finkelman (ed.). (Salem Press, 2009).
- "Martin Van Buren as Party Leader," in A Companion to the Antebellum Presidents, 1837-1861, Joel H. Silbey (ed.). (Wiley Blackwell, 2014).
- Origins of the American Nation
- American Lives: African Americans
- Declarations of Independence (First Year Seminar)
- Baseball: The American Game
- Colonial America
- America in the Age of Revolution
- The United States in the Middle Period
- Civil War and Reconstruction
- Topics in African American History