The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington offers fellowships to support the growing community of scholars whose research focuses on the life and leadership of George Washington and his place in the development of American civic life and culture. Both long and short-term fellowships are available for trained scholars of all professional levels.

Learn More about the Mount Vernon Fellowship Program

Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold

New York Presidency: Slaves, Servants and the Washington Family

Arnold began performing at the age of eight. She currently lives in Hampton, VA and presents storytelling programs, historic character presentations, Christian monologues, professional development for educators and inspirational/motivational speaking for schools, churches and organizations throughout the U.S. She also manages and contracts new business for History’s Alive!, which mentors and provides opportunities and guidance to performers. "Ms. Sheila," as she is fondly called, has been performing full-time since 2003 and travels nationally each year.

George W. Boudreau, Ph.D.

George W. Boudreau, Ph.D.

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

Boudreau is a cultural historian of early Anglo-America, specializing in the history of Philadelphia, the work of Benjamin Franklin, material culture, and public history. His book Independence: A Guide to Historic Philadelphia (Westholme 2012, paperback 2016) explores the sites related to the nation’s founding. Penn State Press published his co-edited collection (with Margaretta M. Lovell), A Material World: Culture, Society, and the Life of Things in February 2019. Boudreau was the founding editor of the journal Early American Studies, and has won six major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In addition, he was the Jamestown Rediscovery and the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture at Williamsburg postdoctoral fellow in fall 2018 and has also received fellowships from the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Winterthur Museum and Library, the American Philosophical Society, and the David Library of the American Revolution. A 1998 Ph.D. from Indiana University, he is currently senior research associate at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D.

Lydia Mattice Brandt, Ph.D.

John Gadsby Chapman's America

Brandt is associate professor of Art History at the University of South Carolina. Working with Mount Vernon associate curator Adam T. Erby, her current project reevaluates Virginia artist John Gadsby Chapman's 1830s paintings of George Washington-significant landscapes in the development of American art and in the memory of Washington. She is the author of First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington's Mount Vernon in the American Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2017). 

Recipient of the Dr. William M. and Betty H. Busey Family Fellowship

Valérie Capdeville, Ph.D.

Valérie Capdeville, Ph.D.

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

Capdeville is an Associate Professor in British Civilization and History at the University of Paris 13. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris) and specializes in eighteenth-century social and cultural history, especially urban sociability and the phenomenon of gentlemen’s clubs in British and colonial societies. She is the author of L’Age d’or des clubs londoniens (1730-1784) (2008), the co-editor of Les Espaces de sociabilité (2014) and of British Sociability in the Long-Eighteenth Century: Challenging the Anglo-French Connection (2019). Her current research investigates how the British club model was exported to the American colonies from 1700, mapping connections and networks in the British Atlantic world. She is one of the main co-investigators of an EU-funded interdisciplinary project, DIGITENS, which aims to create a Digital Encyclopedia of British Enlightenment Sociability.

Dusty Dye

Dusty Dye

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

Dye received her B.A. in history at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, in 2009, and her M.A. in American history with concentrations in Early America, Public History, and Museum Studies from the University of West Georgia in 2011. Now a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland, Dusty focuses her research on early American history and culture, particularly funereal culture and attitudes towards death. Her project examines the ways that the funereal culture of the 18th century allowed the North American colonists to express ideas concerning everything from religion, social hierarchy, and personal relationships to national identity, politics, and the trials of war.

Recipient of the Amanda and Greg Gregory Fellowship 

Ronald Fuchs II

Ronald Fuchs II

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

Fuchs is the curator of the Reeves Collection of Ceramics at Washington and Lee University. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture at the University of Delaware and is the chair of the American Ceramic Circle. 

Alexi Garrett

Alexi Garrett

Martha Washington and the Business of Slavery at Mount Vernon

Garrett is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia whose research examines how white, feme sole (unmarried) businesswomen managed their slave-manned enterprises in early national Virginia. Already subjugated to men in a patriarchal society that denied married women the right to control their own earning or property, feme sole businesswomen relied upon the labor of their communities' most subjugated people to enrich themselves. Garrett's work at Mount Vernon will analyze Martha Washington as a landowner, slave-owner, and investor, seeking to understand how Washington's commercial and enslavement activities compared to that of similar women in the early Republic. Garrett received her B.A. from St. Olaf College and her M.A. from the University of Virginia.

Ann Bay Goddin

Ann Bay Goddin

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

Goddin’s research focuses on the papers of Ann Pamela Cunningham, of whom she is writing a biography. During the tumultuous decade leading up to the Civil War, Cunningham rose from the obscurity of an invalid’s sick bed in upstate South Carolina to take on the challenge of saving Mount Vernon, thus setting in motion America’s historic preservation movement. Goddin’s career began in 1972 when she was awarded an NEH grant to conduct a study of education programs in American humanities museums. She then worked at the Smithsonian for twenty-seven years as both a writer and administrator, including as Executive Director of the Institution’s Center for Education and Museum Studies. In 2000, she became Mount Vernon’s first Vice President for Education, a position she held until her retirement at the end of 2010. She holds a B.A. from Arcadia University in Glenside, PA and a M.Ed. with Distinction from the University of Virginia.

Cassandra Good, Ph.D.

Cassandra Good, Ph.D.

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

Good is assistant professor of history at Marymount University. She is the author of Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press, 2015), as well as scholarly articles and shorter pieces for public audiences on sites including The Atlantic, Smithsonian.com, and Slate. Her current project is a family biography of George Washington’s step-grandchildren in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, examining how the next generation shaped the family’s public image and political role in the new nation.

Odai Johnson, Ph.D.

Odai Johnson, Ph.D.

Staging the Revolution:  Washington and the Theatre of War

Johnson received his MFA from the University of Utah and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His books include Rehearsing the Revolution (University of Delaware, 1999), The Colonial American Stage: A Documentary Calendar (AUP, 2001), Absence and Memory on the Colonial American Stage (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005), London in a Box (Iowa, 2017), and Ruins: Classical Theatre and Broken Memory (University of Michigan, 2018). He is currently working on a book on revolution and genres that explores the structures of the imagination. He teaches a range of undergraduate theatre and performance history courses and seminars in theatre history for the doctoral students. Professor Johnson holds the Floyd and Delores Jones Endowed Professorship in the Arts, and has recently been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Utah.

Martha J. King, Ph.D.

Martha J. King, Ph.D.

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

King is Senior Editor at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson at Princeton University where she focuses on Jefferson’s two terms as president. She received her Ph.D. in history from the College of William & Mary. Her research interests include the Founding Era, women’s history, and print culture. She developed a fascination with Catharine Greene while working as an editor on the Papers of General Nathanael Greene. She has also written on Clementina Rind, Annis Boudinot Stockton, and Benjamin Rush, and is currently working on a book on women printers in the Revolutionary Era.

Gerard N. Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca

Washington’s Heir: The Life of Justice Bushrod Washington

Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and the author of four books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Yale. He then spent two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013. In 2014, Professor Magliocca received the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award.

Marcus P. Nevius, Ph.D.

Marcus P. Nevius, Ph.D.

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

Nevius is assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Rhode Island. He earned his B.A. and M.A. from North Carolina Central University and his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. His first book, “city of refuge”: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856,is forthcoming with the University of Georgia Press. He is presently revising an article manuscript that examines the informal slave economy of the Dismal through the letters penned by the agents of the late eighteenth century Dismal Swamp Company.

Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O'Donnell

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

O’Donnell is a bestselling author, critically acclaimed military historian and an expert on elite units. The author of twelve books, including Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution, First SEALs, We Were One, and Dog Company, he has also served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah and speaks often on espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency. He has provided historical consulting for DreamWorks’ award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for scores of documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, and Discovery. O’Donnell is currently finalizing the manuscript for his next book, The Indispensables, which captures an unknown story of an elite unit and their essential relationship with Washington.

Derek Kane O'Leary

Derek Kane O'Leary

Writing Washington for an Atlantic Audience before the Civil War

O'Leary is finishing his Ph.D. in American History at the University of California, Berkeley. He writes and teaches about archives, historiography, and national identity in the early U.S. He earned his M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and B.A. from Amherst College. He is also an Editor for the Journal of the History of Ideas blog.

Franklin Sammons

Franklin Sammons

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

Sammons is a Ph.D. candidate in history at University of California, Berkeley and is the 2018-2019 Advisory Council Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies in Philadelphia. He holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from the University of Georgia. Broadly, his research and teaching focus on the history of eighteenth and nineteenth-century North America and the history of capitalism. His dissertation chronicles the Yazoo land sales to examine how new forms of finance affected indigenous dispossession in the Southeast, and to explore the relationships between borderlands, law, and political economy in the early American republic.

Laura Sandy, Ph.D.

Laura Sandy, Ph.D.

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

Sandy is a tenured lecturer in the History of Slavery at the University of Liverpool (UK) and, also, the current Co-director of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (a collaborative research centre between the University of Liverpool and the International Slavery Museum). She is a historian of slavery, North America and the Atlantic World. She has previously held full-time posts at Oxford Brookes University and Keele University. Her doctoral and post-doctorate work has involved archival research in every former slave state in the United States examining slavery, free people of color, voluntary enslavement, and poor whites of the American South. Sandy has advised on museum exhibitions and presented her research to historical societies and institutions in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the U.S.

Nora Slonimsky, Ph.D.

Nora Slonimsky, Ph.D.

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

Slonimsky is the Gardiner Assistant Professor of History at Iona College, where she also serves as Director of the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies (ITPS). She received her Ph.D. in American history in 2017 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). Nora’s research focuses on the intersection of intellectual property, commerce, and politics in the long eighteenth century, and she is currently working on her first book, The Engine of Free Expression: Copyrighting The State in Early America, which is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press. Slonimsky is also a former Mellon Material Texts fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a current Advisory Council Representative, and serves as the Social Media Editor for the Journal of the Early Republic. She teaches courses ranging from the American Revolution to copyright and innovation in US history, all of which incorporate digital history.

Jillian B. Vaum

Jillian B. Vaum

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

Vaum is a doctoral candidate in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, Facing Freedom: Tracing African American Emancipation in Antebellum Portraiture, explores the construction of free black identity in Northern visual culture prior to the Civil War. In 2018-2019, her work was supported by fellowships from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Swann Foundation of Cartoon and Caricature at the Library of Congress. 

John C. Winters

John C. Winters

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

Winters is a public historian and doctoral candidate in history at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He has curated and researched for exhibits at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. John’s research has been supported by the New-York Historical Society, the Colonial Dames of America, the CUNY Early Research Initiative, and the Graduate Center. His dissertation (degree expected 2020) is a multi-generational memory study and biography of four Seneca men and women titled “The Amazing Iroquois” in Myth and Memory, 1776-1955

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