The fellowship program at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies promotes research of Jefferson’s life and times and the community at Monticello. The Center offers short-term fellowships for domestic and international scholars to consult with Monticello scholars and librarians and to utilize the resources of the Jefferson Library and the University of Virginia libraries.
Building upon her 2019 book chapter, "Thomas Jefferson's Complicated Friends," Kozel will to go deeper into the lives of Quaker overseers and merchants with whom Jefferson worked on his slave plantations and in Philadelphia. Exploring the issues of "celebrity" and ethics, she will consider why Quakers who were repulsed by slavery worked with Jefferson in various capacities (and why Jefferson worked with them). Additionally, Kozel will explore why Quakers worked for or with Jefferson and did not object to his slavery or slavery throughout the British colonies and later American world. Kozel has recently retired, and is currently writing an article for 200,000 New Jersey teachers featuring slavery and abolition-related resources during the American Revolutionary period and its immediate aftermath. In November, she will be leading a professional development session for New Jersey teachers at the New Jersey Education Association Convention on the same topic.
Penick's scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and religion in the colonial and early national era. While at ICJS, she plans to examine the relationship between two seminal events - religious disestablishment and Jefferson's founding of a secular public university, the University of Virginia. Jefferson regarded both events as two of his greatest achievements, but the relationship between these projects deserves closer consideration. This project will look closely at the sale of property from St. Anne's Parish in Albemarle County, which helped fund the University's founding. In addition to examining the transfer of property from church to state, Penick will also explore the ongoing relationship between the parish and the University to consider how Charlottesville's antebellum spiritual community grew and changed alongside the avowedly secular college.
Spero is conducting research on Andre Michaux’s failed attempt to explore the interior of North America in 1793. Based upon a fundraising document written in Thomas Jefferson’s hand and held by the American Philosophical Society today, this project will use Michaux’s story as a way to explore early American science, the age of Atlantic Revolutions, and the political and diplomatic history of the early American republic. Michaux was a French botanist who spent a decade documenting the flora of eastern North America. In 1793, he proposed an ambitious undertaking: to head west and document all the flora and fauna from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean – something that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark would eventually do with Jefferson’s backing about a decade later. In 1793, Michaux convinced then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson to support his proposal, and Jefferson used his position at the American Philosophical Society to raise significant funds for the expedition. Before Michaux could leave Philadelphia, though, he fell in with the new French ambassador Edmund Genet. Genet asked Michaux to instead carry secret plans to George Rogers Clark, living on the frontier of the United States. Genet hoped that Clark would raise an American militia loyal to the revolutionary government of France and invade Spanish-controlled New Orleans. Ultimately, the Washington administration, angered by the interference of a French ambassador in American politics and foreign policy, forced Genet’s recall. Michaux, meanwhile, was never able to cross the Mississippi as he proposed. At the ICJS, Spero will be researching Jefferson’s role in this episode and trying to better understand Jefferson’s visions of and interest in the West in the 1790s.
A list of recent ICJS and Barringer Fellows is available.
Short-term fellowships are underwritten by endowments established for this purpose by the Batten Foundation and Wachovia Corporation (formerly First Union National Bank of Virginia).