Skip to main content

The George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon 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.


Jamie L. Brummitt

Protestant Relics: The Politics of Religion & the Art of Mourning in the Early American Republic

Brummitt is a Ph.D. candidate in American Religion at Duke University. Her work examines the material culture of mourning that proliferated after George Washington’s death. Her dissertation asks how and why early Americans produced, distributed, and displayed Washington relics – locks of hair, bones, and images. It traces how mourning for Washington and his relics became central to American Protestantism and politics. It also investigates how Americans’ obsession with Washington relics trickled into Protestant female academies through mourning embroideries. Early Americans engaged relics as powerful objects to understand their roles as political, religious, and gendered citizens.

Recipient of the Amanda and Greg Gregory Fellowship

Colin G. Calloway, Ph.D.

The Indian World of George Washington: First Americans, the First President, and the Birth of the Nation

Calloway received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Leeds in England. He has taught at the College of Ripon and York St. John in England, at Springfield High School in Vermont, and at the University of Wyoming. He has also served as editor/assistant director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He joined the faculty of Dartmouth College in 1995 and served four consecutive three-year terms as chair of the Native American Studies Program. He is now the John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History and Professor of Native American Studies. His most recent book is The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army (2015).

Recipient of the James C. Rees Fellowship on the Leadership of George Washington.

Jonathan Den Hartog, Ph.D.

Statesmanship and Diplomacy in the New Nation: George Washington and John Jay

Den Hartog is associate professor of history at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, MN. In 2012-13, he was the Garwood Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. His first book is Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation (2015). Den Hartog’s current research centers on the thought and politics of the founding father John Jay. At the Library, he will be studying the decades-long political partnership forged between Jay and George Washington.

David T. Flaherty

Envisioning the British Atlantic: Strategies for Settlement and Sovereignty on the North American Caribbean Frontiers, 1700-1763

Flaherty is a Ph.D. Candidate in history at the University of Virginia and is preparing to defend a dissertation on the construction of a British empire in the Atlantic in the early eighteenth century. His scholarship examines early American frontiers in pursuit of a better understanding of the development of states and empires around the Atlantic World. His new research will investigate the continuities between British empire-building and the creation of America’s “Empire of Liberty” by looking at one particular frontier place, the Ohio Valley.

Recipient of the Society of Colonial Wars Fellowship

Lorri Glover, Ph.D.

An “All Accomplished” Woman: The Life and Legacies of Eliza Lucas Pinckney

Glover is the John Francis Bannon Endowed Chair in the Department of History at Saint Louis University, where she teaches courses in early American history. She is the author of several books, including Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries (2014) and The Fate of the Revolution: Virginians Debate the Constitution (2016).

Ricardo Herrera, Ph.D.

Feeding Valley Forge: The Grand Forage of 1778

Herrera is Associate Professor of Military History at the School of Advanced Military Studies, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is the author of For Liberty and the Republic: The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861 and of several articles and chapters on United States military history. His current project examines the maturation of the Continental Army’s leadership and performance through a major, but little-known, foraging operation undertaken during the Valley Forge winter.

David Hildebrand, Ph.D.

Interpreting Washington through Music: Continued Studies of Sources and Applications

Hildebrand is a specialist in early American music. He is an active researcher who performs and lectures at museums, historical societies, and universities, mostly in duet with his wife Ginger. He earned his B.S. from Dickinson College, and M.A. and Ph.D. (both in Musicology) from George Washington University and The Catholic University of America. He teaches American music history at the Peabody Conservatory and is an author for the Johns Hopkins University Press. David has appeared on C-Span Television, the BBC radio, NPR, "History Detectives," and the documentary film Anthem, which is the story behind "The Star-Spangled Banner." His recordings include George Washington: Music for the first President, Over the Hills and Far Away - Being a Collection of Music from 18th-Century Annapolis, and, most recently, Music of the War of 1812.

Matthew J. Hollis

The Politicization of Supplies in the American Revolution

Hollis is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Binghamton University whose research concerns the political intrigue and maneuvering within the Northern Department during the American Revolution. Part of this research resulted in Hero of Fort Schuyler, an edited publication of military and personal correspondence from Brigadier General Peter Gansevoort, Jr. during the American Revolution and Early Republic. His dissertation is a continuation of this work, concerning distribution of supplies to the Northern Department during the Revolutionary War and how changing conceptions of material culture within the military sphere irreversibly altered the nature of power-relations, military patronage, and ideology within the newly-independent American states.

Donald Johnson, Ph.D.

Occupied America: Military Rule and the Everyday Experience of Revolution

Johnson is an assistant professor of history at North Dakota State University, where his teaching and research focuses on Colonial and Revolutionary America. He earned his Ph.D. in History from Northwestern University. His current project investigates the everyday experience of ordinary people living under military occupation during the Revolutionary War.

Aimée Keithan

From the Garrets to the Cellars: Mount Vernon’s Role in the Development of American Domestic Service Architecture

Keithan is a Ph.D. candidate in historic buildings conservation at the University of York, England, where she is exploring transatlantic influences and adaptations of the culture of domestic service as reflected in British and American country house architecture. Her work at Mount Vernon will investigate the Mansion’s pivotal role in the history of American domestic service.

William Kerrigan, Ph.D.

Citizen Henfield: Privateering and the Politics of Neutrality during Washington’s Presidency

Kerrigan is the Cole Distinguished Professor of American History at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio. He teaches courses in colonial, revolutionary, early national, and Civil War era history. He is the author of Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard (2012), a biography of the wandering apple tree planter and a microhistory of the apple in America. His current project is centered on the legal case United States v. Henfield, which took place in Philadelphia in the summer of 1793. It employs the story of the trial of a sailor accused of violating American neutrality to explore questions of citizenship in an age of revolution and to illuminate the cultural and political landscape of the early national period.

Scott C. Miller

A Merchant’s Republic: Independence, Depression, and the Development of American Capitalism, 1760-1807

Miller is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia whose research examines the reformation of the American economy after independence from Great Britain. His work explores how a trans-regional cohort of merchant-entrepreneurs recreated commercial networks, domestic markets, and mechanisms of trust in the midst of post-Revolutionary economic, political, and social turmoil. 

Recipient of James C. Rees Entrepreneurship Fellowship funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

Rebecca Schumann

Overcoming the Silence: Free African American Life at 19th Century Mount Vernon

Schumann is a Ph.D. candidate in archaeology at the University of Urbana-Champaign whose research explores the former slaves of George Washington who continued living on Mount Vernon after their manumission. Specifically she focuses on the individuals who occupied the archaeological sites located in the area of the Washington Library. She examines the ways that the economically and racially marginalized occupants of this area constructed and negotiated their identities.

Philip Smucker

Riding with George: On the Trail of America’s First Sportsman and President

Smucker is a former war reporter and a relative of George Washington through his younger brother Jack. In his forthcoming book and media project (2017) he explores Washington’s deeds and chivalry through the prism of the centuries-old British idea of sport. In the saddle and on foot – with help from a motley cast of experts and re-enactors – Smucker visits hills where George played, ballrooms where he danced, and fields where he hunted and fought.   

Maurizio Valsania, Ph.D.

Founding Bodies: Corporeality and the Early Republic

Valsania is professor of American history at the University of Turin, Italy. Author of The Limits of Optimism: Thomas Jefferson's Dualistic Enlightenment (2011) and Nature's Man: Thomas Jefferson's Philosophical Anthropology (2013), he is the recipient of several fellowships from leading academic institutions, including the American Antiquarian Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Library Company, the John D. Rockefeller Library, the DAAD (Germany), and the International Center for Jefferson Studies. He has written the entry "Thomas Jefferson" for the Oxford Bibliographies project.

Betsy Garrett Widmer

“Endearing society”: Children and Family at Mount Vernon, 1759-1799

Widmer is an author, educator, and museum consultant. A graduate of Connecticut College and The Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, she has enjoyed a decades-long career with museums and auction houses, focusing on education. She is the author of several books including At Home; The American Family 1750-1870 and is currently working on a book on children in early America. Her research will explore the details of childhood and family life at Mount Vernon in the forty year period between 1759 and 1799.

Rosemarie Zagarri, Ph.D.

The Empire Comes Home: Thomas Law and the Making of British India and the Early American Republic

Zagarri is University Professor and Professor of History at George Mason University and a past President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the author of The Politics of Size: Representation in the United States, 1776-1850 (1987), A Woman’s Dilemma: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution (1995; 2nd. ed. 2015), and Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic (2007) as well as the editor of David Humphreys’ “Life of General Washington” with George’ Washington’s “Remarks” (1991; ppbk., 2006). Her research at Mount Vernon will explore Thomas Law's marriage to, and subsequent divorce from, Martha Washington's granddaughter, Elizabeth Parke Custis. She will also investigate the tense relationship between their only child, Eliza, and Law's two illegitimate, mixed-race sons, born in India during Law's time as a high-ranking administer with the East India Company.