Publication Date

September 1, 1993

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

The recipient of the sixteenth annual J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship in American History is Gail S. Terry, Wabash College. The fellowship is offered annually by the Library of Congress and the AHA to support significant scholarly research in the collections of the Library by young historians. The selection was made by the AHA Committee on the Jameson Fellowship composed of Richard Ellis, SUNY-Buffalo (chair); James M. Banner, James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation; Paula S. Fass, University of California, Berkeley; Joe W. Trotter, Jr., Carnegie Mellon University; and David Brody, University of California, Davis.

Dr. Terry received the PhD from the College of William and Mary in 1992 and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of History at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana. She was awarded a Virginia Historical Society Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship in 1993 and named a nominee for the Society of American Historians' Allan Nevins Prize in 1992. Dr. Terry plans to spend the fall semester in residence at the Library researching "Family Empires: A Frontier Elite in Virginia and Kentucky, 1740–1815." The project continues her analysis of families who settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, gained elite status there, and then migrated across the Appalachian Mountains and contributed substantially to the development of Kentucky. One of the individuals recommending Dr. Terry's project to the selection committee noted that it was an "important, meticulously researched migration study that enriches recent scholarship on the peopling of British America." Residency at the Library is particularly valuable since it allows access to collections and papers not previously examined in detail. Primary sources for the study include documents relating to the settlement of decedents' estates, census and tax records, farm and other accounts, and the correspondence of slave owners. Dr. Terry states that the "Manuscript Division holds the papers of several of the Virginia backcountry families whose households provide the basis for this study" and that the Library's collections will "prove pivotal for this project. … The combination of depth and breadth of secondary literature, access to specific manuscript collections, and availability of outstanding cartographic resources provided in one geographic location by the Library of Congress … offers an unprecedented opportunity to extend my research on African-American families."

The Jameson Fellowship is awarded for one semester or as much of an academic year that the fellow desires to spend in residence at the Library. The project in American history must be one for which the general and special collections of the Library offer unique research support. The application deadline for the 1994–95 competition is January 15, 1994. Further information may be obtained by writing Jameson Fellowship, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003.

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