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Scholars Selected for Research Fellowships at the Washington Library

Topics of Study Range from Washington and the Theatre to Death and Mourning in the American Revolution

MOUNT VERNON, VA – Mount Vernon has selected 20 leading history scholars who will receive fully-funded research fellowships at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington (Washington Library) during the 2019-20 academic year. These fellows will study on site at the Washington Library for up to six months beginning this fall.

Now in its seventh year, the Washington Library’s fellowship program has become a highly sought-after honor for academics researching topics related to George Washington, his life, and the founding era.  These awards also provide a welcome opportunity for scholars to work on their research projects, which are reviewed by an independent jury of academics.  While in residence, the fellows become an important part of the Mount Vernon community. They take part in day-to-day activities at the estate and library. The scholars are frequently called upon to share their findings in formal settings and casual gatherings for staff, other visiting scholars, and special guests.

“We are thrilled to have this amazing group of scholars come to Mount Vernon in the year ahead,” said Kevin Butterfield, executive director for the Washington Library. “Their work will help to reshape how the world understands the life and times of George Washington as well as the history and preservation of his historic home. We are excited to support this cutting-edge research, and we look forward to learning from them during their time at the Washington Library.”

Research fellowships less than three months provide a stipend of $3,000 per month, three-month fellowships provide $10,000, and six-month fellowships provide $20,000. All awards include onsite housing, as well as round-trip airfare or mileage reimbursement for one trip to and from Mount Vernon.  For more information, please visit

The 2019-20 Mount Vernon Research Fellows include the following scholars, listed with their topic of study:

Sheila Arnold

Storyteller and Independent Historic Character Interpreter

New York Presidency: Slaves, Servants and the Washington Family

Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D.

University of South Carolina

John Gadsby Chapman's America

George W. Boudreau, Ph.D.

McNeil Center for Early American Studies

“Telling the Story:” Material Culture, Surviving Spaces, and the Presentation of Early America’s History

Valérie Capdeville, Ph.D.

Université of Paris 13

George Washington, Clubbable Gentleman: The Role of Colonial Clubs in the Building of Social and Political Identities and Networks

Dusty Dye

University of Maryland, College Park

“A Decent External Sorrow”: Death, Mourning, and the American Revolution

Ronald Fuchs II

Washington and Lee University

George Washington, his Coat of Arms, and the Cincinnati Service

Alexi Garrett

University of Virginia

Martha Washington and the Business of Slavery at Mount Vernon

Ann Bay Goddin

Independent Author and Consultant

Coming to the Rescue: Ann Pamela Cunningham and the Beginning of America’s Historic Preservation Movement

Cassandra Good, Ph.D.

Marymount University

Children of Washington: The Custis Grandchildren and the Politics of Family in America, 1776-1865

Odai Johnson, Ph.D.

University of Washington

Staging the Revolution: Washington and the Theatre of War

Martha J. King, Ph.D.

Papers of Thomas Jefferson

A Revolutionary Army at Play: Catharine Littlefield Greene and Her Coterie in the Carolina Lowcountry

Gerard N. Magliocca

Indiana University

Washington’s Heir: The Life of Justice Bushrod Washington

Marcus P. Nevius, Ph.D.

University of Rhode Island

“city of refuge”: Dismal Plantation in the Revolutionary War Era

Patrick O'Donnell

Author and Military Historian

The Indispensables: A Band of Brothers and their Crucial Role Fighting the Revolution

Derek Kane O'Leary

University of California, Berkeley

Writing Washington for an Atlantic Audience before the Civil War

Franklin Sammons

University of California, Berkeley

Yazoo’s Settlement: Law, Finance, and Dispossession in the Southeastern Borderlands

Laura Sandy, Ph.D.

University of Liverpool

A Tale of Two Masters: Managing Free and Enslaved Labour at Mount Vernon and Monticello

Nora Slonimsky, Ph.D.

Iona College, Institute for Thomas Paine Studies

The Engine of Free Expression: Copyrighting The State in Early America

Jillian B. Vaum

University of Pennsylvania

Washington's Body Servant: Freedom and Memory in Antebellum America

John C. Winters

City University of New York, The Graduate Center

The Peace Medal's Glare: Red Jacket, the Washington Administration, and the Origins of Iroquois Exceptionalism


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