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Home » Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies » ICJS Bulletin » Spring Edition 2005, No. 5, Fellowship Awards

Winners of 2005 Fellowships and Travel Grants at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies:

April 2005 Awards:

Evelyn Causey, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History,University of Delaware

By studying institutions of higher education in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, Ms. Causey's dissertation explores how republicanism, gentility, honor, and evangelicalism shaped elite white men's understandings of what it meant to be a gentleman in the antebellum South. Her dissertation also looks at issues that concerned Thomas Jefferson including the importance of education in a republic and the proper place of religion in public institutions. During her fellowship, Ms. Causey will conduct research on the University of Virginia and the historical relationship between religion and higher education.

Fraser Clark, Ph.D., University of Edinburgh

Thomas Jefferson has long been described as the Godfather of the United States Corps Band. During his time at ICJS, Dr. Clark will examine Jefferson 's relation to the Marine Band after it ushered the distinguished Virginian into the White House in March 1801. He will also study Jefferson's musical interests that possibly shaped the music that he and his contemporaries heard during his Presidency.

James Corbett David, Ph.D. Candidate, College of William and Mary

As colonial governor of New York, Virginia, and the Bahama Islands, John Murray, Fourth Earl of Dunmore, was involved in border disputes, Indian wars, sexual scandal, slave emancipation, and armed slave revolt as well as the Haitian Revolution and the defense of the British West Indies during the French Revolutionary Wars. Mr. David intends to use Dunmore as a window into the political cultures of the revolutionary Atlantic. More specifically, he plans to explicate and explore the symbolic economies through which public authority was established, confirmed, and challenged in the worlds that Dunmore inhabited. He wishes to examine the construction of early American nationalism. Since Dunmore spent well over a decade in and around Jefferson's Virginia, Mr. David expects that many of Charlottesville ' archives will be of use to him.

William Merkel, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Oxford

Mr. Merckel's dissertation emphasizes Jefferson's interactions with institutional slavery and with African Americans that involved judicial, legislative, or constitutional questions, and pays particular heed to Jefferson 's common law and constitutionalist mentalities. During his fellowship, Mr. Merkel will research the public policy questions concerning slavery that Jefferson addressed after he left Washington, including colonization, manumission, diffusion, the Missouri Controversy, and the development of the University of Virginia.

Elizabeth Brand Monroe, Department of History, Indiana University-Purdue University

Professor Monroe plans to continue her research for a book-length study of William Wirt, a protégé of Thomas Jefferson and longest seated U.S. Attorney General (1817-1829) in United States history. She will investigate two parts of his story. First, what was Wirt's legal practice like? What kind of cases did he accept, who were his clients, and what were their problems? Second, what was the social side to Wirt's life? How did a novice lawyer, initially unconnected with anyone in Albemarle, become in a short period the friend and confidante of three future presidents, much his senior in age?

Martha Rojas, Ph.D., Sweet Briar College

Dr. Rojas's current project, Diplomatic Letters, argues for the paradigmatic role of diplomacy in the process of constituting the nation, itself a work-in progress refined through repeated acts of negotiation, cooperation, and compromise. Taking improvisation and representation as its subjects, it directs attention to moments, figures, and texts of U.S. diplomacy that yield narratives of personal, political, and national imagining. In the eighteenth century, diplomacy depended on a series of exchanges that adhered to protocol and courted favor. This project explores an array of cultural and literary materials: letters, gifts, private journals, narratives of captivity, political pamphlets, treaties of peace and friendship. One chapter of Dr. Rojas's book will focus on Thomas Jefferson and his insistence on differentiating between the giving of gifts and the paying of tribute as well as his impromptu creation of the National Archives as a storehouse for diplomatic gifts.

Laura Sandy, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Manchester

Ms. Sandy's project examines the social and economic circumstances of plantation overseers and other white employees living and working on slave plantations in Virginia and South Caroline in the period between 1740 and 1800. She will focus on how overseers behaved and how they were perceived by their employers, by the slaves they supervised, and by members of the white communities near large slave plantations. Simultaneously, she will consider the roles of women from the overseer class. Finally, Ms. Sandy will assess the impact on white overseers of the use of and role of black overseers, drivers, foreman, and artisans on plantations. Through this research, she hopes to illuminate a fundamental theme in colonial history, that of social relations between gentry and non-elite whites in colonial slave society.

Brian Schoen, Ph.D., California State University, Sacramento

Dr. Schoen is currently working on a book entitled, The Fragile Fabric of Union: The Cotton South, Federal Union, and the Atlantic World. As debates unfolded, Jeffersonianism and its history became a contested icon, constantly remade by various groups determined to prove themselves its truest disciples. Evidence suggests that Jefferson's ghost was invoked by Republicans to demonstrate the justness of free soil and free labor, by Democrats to protect slavery, by abolitionists to end it, by fire-eaters to leave the union, and by would-be Constitutional Unionists to preserve it. Dr. David's research will focus on how these various groups constructed memories of Jefferson that simultaneously: 1) shaped how they understood the political crises of their time (especially the Republican "revolution" of 1860) and 2) reshaped historical understandings of Jefferson himself.

David Steinberg, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

In a letter of 1811, Charles Willson Peale wrote to Thomas Jefferson telling him the story of when he showed a group of Native Americans his copy of the famous painting, Venus of Urbino. The first part of Dr. Steinberg's project centers on Peale's decision to display his Venus to Native Americans. He will examine Euro-American responses to nudes, including Peale's and Jefferson's, as well as the relationship of Peale's display to parallel instances of exhibition and to Enlightenment ideas and practices. The second part of the roject concerns the Native American response. He will then discuss the differences between European and Native American image theory and practice. His project will conclude with a consideration of Euro-American representations of Native Americans pertinent to various interpretations of Peale's Philadelphia display.

Eric Stoykovich, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Virginia

Mr. Stoykovich's proposal seeks to analyze the ways in which Jefferson's views of enlightened agriculture, domesticated farming, and civilized improvement were shaped as responses to, and encouragements of, the new American republic's political economy. The domestication of cattle, sheep, and horses-and the breeding of those domesticates-revolved around the conflicting late 18th-century discussions of lineage, population, and climate. Jefferson utilized the metaphor of animal domestication to indicate both the inheritance of traits and the potentialities of population growth. This project seeks to explore the versatility of the various notions of domestication-human and animal-that allowed Jefferson to compare and contrast the hierarchies of the natural world with the hierarchies of the political world. Mr. Stoykovich plans to situate Jefferson 's ideas about the environment, from the natural to the civilized, in the transatlantic network of British and European theorists of the 18th century who organized agriculture as both a stage in civilization and as the grounds for any improving nation's political economy .

Billy Wayson, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Virginia

The purpose of Mr. Wayson's project is to examine the knowledge, attitudes, values, skills, and sensibilities Jefferson sought to transmit to his daughter, Martha, in the period between her late childhood in 1783 and her elevation in 1809 to permanent status as Monticello's plantation mistress. Moreover, the ends, content, and process of Martha's education will be mapped into a family construct of gendered roles and projected onto the political and social culture of the early Republic.

Henry Wiencek, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

Mr. Wiencek is genuinely baffled by the contradiction between the man who wrote "all men are created equal" and the man who held slaves. He questions how deeply Thomas Jefferson believed what he said, and wonders to what degree his statements were the rationalizations of a man compelled to justify himself and his society to outsiders such as Kosciuszko, Lafayette, and the French intellectuals whose queries led to the writing of Notes on the State of Virginia, with its notorious remarks on the nature of blacks. Mr. Wiencek is interested in the ways Jefferson's actions and statements continue to shape America 's encounter with race and Monticello's actions in regards to the slavery story in light of the 1998 DNA report on Jefferson's descendants.

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February 2005 Awards:

Francis D. Cogliano, Ph.D., School of History and Classics, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Cogliano has completed a draft manuscript of a book that focuses on the following: Jefferson's efforts to influence history's judgment of him; the role of Monticello and the University of Virginia in shaping history's treatment of Jefferson; and, the ways in which historians' views of Jefferson have changed as they have asked new and different questions of traditional sources and employed new research methods. Dr. Cogliano will use his fellowship to prepare his manuscript for publication.

Jeffrey A. Fortin, Department of History, HSSC, University of New Hampshire

British imperial officials often removed marginalized peoples from one part of the empire, where they were perceived as troublesome, to another, beyond the area of European settlement. Jefferson changed the objective of removal, arguing that it should be applied exclusively to two populations, Native Americans and African Americans. During his fellowship, Mr. Fortin will explore Jefferson's correspondence, manuscripts, and rare published materials to discern how extensively Jefferson thought and wrote about removal, how much influence the practice of removal by British officials had on his thinking, who supported his calls for Indian and African American removals, how his ideas regarding African colonization changed from the American Revolution to his death, and to what extent his writing on the topic set the socio-political parameters of discussion concerning removal and colonization for future generations.

Barbara J. Heath, Ph.D., Poplar Forest

Dr. Heath is currently the director of archaeology and landscapes at Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. She will come to Monticello to continue her research on the history of the enslaved community that Thomas Jefferson inherited from the John Wayles estate. Her work seeks to clarify how Wayles acquired these people, where they came from previously, and how they might be related to each other.

Katherine Stebbins McCaffrey, Ph.D. Candidate at Boston University

Ms. McCaffey is seeking a short-term fellowship to work on the first chapter of her dissertation entitled, Reading Glasses: American Spectacles from Benjamin Franklin's Bifocals to Mithril. Her research will be focused on the social and cultural information that can reside in objects such as eyeglasses. The University of Virginia houses correspondence which concerns Nellie E. Jones, who is identified as "a descendent of Madison Hemings and owner of a pair of spectacles and an inkwell owned by Thomas Jefferson." Ms. McCaffrey will explore the link between the eyeglasses associated with Thomas Jefferson and a descendent on the Hemings side to help us fully understand the forms and functions of spectacles, both symbolic and practical.

Andrew Mullen, St. George's Hanover Square

Mr. Mullen is a professional musician and baritone singer who will use his fellowship to conduct research on Jefferson and vocal music with a view to both writing a study and performing his favorite works.

Melanie Randolph Miller, Ph.D., Gouverneur Morris Papers

Dr. Miller is currently engaged in research concerning the life of Gouverneur Morris, a long-time acquaintance of Thomas Jefferson. A book on this subject, based on her doctoral dissertation, will soon be published. An important theme of her research on Morris concerns his relationship with Jefferson and a comparison of these two very different men with regard to their personalities, political philosophies, performance as public servants, views on France, and ambitions and personal desires, among other topics.

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