Publication Date

April 1, 1998

Robert Francis Byrnes

Robert Francis Byrnes, professor emeritus of history at Indiana University, died on June 19, 1997, in Ocean Isle, North Carolina, while visiting with his family at an annual reunion. Byrnes was founder and for many years director of Indiana University's Russian and East European Institute. He also served as chair of the IU history department and, briefly during the American Historical Review's transition from Washington, D.C., to Bloomington, as editor of the American Historical Association’s journal.

Byrnes was born in Waterville, New York, in 1917, and attended Amherst College and Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1947. He began his academic career as a specialist on French history, his first major publication being Antisemitism in Modern France, vol. 1: The Prologue to the Dreyfus Affair. Soon after the publication of this book, Byrnes took a leave of absence from his teaching position at Rutgers University and spent three years with the Central Intelligence Agency (returning to the work he had done in World War II when he served in military intelligence). In 1956 he joined the faculty of Indiana University as a Russian specialist. He continued at Indiana for the remainder of his career, serving as chair of the history department from 1958 to 1965, director of the Russian and East European Institute from 1959 to 1962 and 1971 to 1975, and director of the International Affairs Center from 1965 to 1967.

Byrnes published two major monographs in Russian history, Pobedonostsev: His Life and Thought and V.O. Kliuchevsky: Historian of Russia. He was the author, editor coeditor of at least a dozen other books and the author or coauthor of more than 100 chapters and articles.

Although he was a prolific writer, Byrnes will no doubt be best remembered for his work as an institution builder. He was a great pioneer of postwar Slavic studies. He worked closely with the major foundations and with leaders at Indiana University (in particular with the legendary president, Herman B. Wells, who is still active as university chancellor) to build internationally renowned programs at Indiana in both Slavic studies and history. Byrnes was also a central figure in the opening of academic exchanges with the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, beginning in the mid-1950s. Theexchange agency he helped to build, a precursor to the International Research and Exchanges Board, was known as the Inter-University Committee on Travel Grants because it was considered risky, so soon after the McCarthy era, to adopt a title that included the words Soviet or east European. Byrnes first served on the agency’s policy and selection committees and then chaired the entire operation from 1960 to 1969. In addition to his work as a builder of Slavic studies throughout the Cold War period,

Byrnes was also its leading historian. He published three books on Slavic studies in America, Soviet-American Academic Exchanges, 1958-1975; Awakening American Education to the World: The Role of Archibald Cary Coolidge; and A History of Russian and East European Studies in the United States. Byrnes was also a devoted teacher. For more than four decades he introduced graduate students in Russian history at Indiana to the rich traditions of Russian historiography, often convening seminars at his home in a book-lined study meant to inspire budding scholars. His surveys of Russian and Soviet history and the historical background of contemporary issues were perennial favorites with Indiana undergraduates.

Byrnes spoke of the ideal academic as a "triple threat"—a high achiever in scholarship, teaching, and service. He excelled in each of these areas.

This outline of Byrnes's professional achievements fails altogether to capture the character of the man, which more than anything was the source of his success. Anyone who met or worked with Byrnes was familiar with his energy, intensity, and commitment to advancing international education and scholarship. In pursuing his causes, he was often combative and could be exasperatingly opinionated about politics and morals, but few who tussled with him on these issues came away feeling the worse for it. Byrnes loved the back and forth of intellectual and moral argument and did not hold grudges. Those who argued well, whether for or against him, won his respect and backing. One of Byrnes's favorite people at Indiana was the famous basketball coach Bob Knight, a man very like Byrnes in his intensity and commitment to excellence in his chosen work.

As intense as were Byrnes's professional commitments, his family was the true center of his life. Bob and his wife Eleanor generously shared the warmth of their home with friends and colleagues. In addition to being the site of many of his graduate seminars, the Byrnes home was the frequent scene of stimulating gatherings at which he and Eleanor brought together people of diverse backgrounds and persuasions.

Characteristically, Bob closed letters and phone calls with the optimistic motto "onward and upward!"—an encouragement that will be fondly remembered by colleagues, family, and friends.

Persons wishing to support a memorial fellowship in Byrnes's name can send contributions to the Robert F. Byrnes/ REEI Endowed Fellowship Fund, account 38-AS32-02-7, Indiana University Foundation, P.O. Box 500, Bloomington, IN 47402.

David Ransel
Janet Rabinowitch
Alexander Rabinowitch
Indiana University

Allan S. Everest

Allan S. Everest, emeritus professor of history and former chair of the history department at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, where he taught from 1947 to his retirement in 1983, died on November 3, 1997. Born in New Haven, Vermont, he attended Beeman Academy there and then the University of Vermont, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1936. After receiving his master's degree from Columbia University Teacher's College in 1937, he taught at Green Mountain Junior College in Poultney, Vermont, before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He returned to Columbia University after his honorable discharge and received his PhD in history there in 1948 with a dissertation on Henry Morgenthau and the silver policy of the New Deal; his dissertation adviser was Professor Alan Nevins.

At Plattsburgh, Everest taught courses on the history of New York State, colonial America, and the American Revolution. It was here that he began his extraordinarily prolific career as a local historian. His 15 published books and many more articles ranged from biography to military history, from architectural history to social history, to historical editions of invaluable journals and texts. Of particular note are his biography of Pliny Moore, a pioneer settler, and his monograph on Moses Hazen and the recruitment of French Canadian families to settle northeastern New York State as a buffer to British incursions prior to the Revolution. A widely acknowledged expert on the War of 1812 in Lake Champlain, Everest wrote about the Battle of Plattsburgh with studies on General Alexander Macomb's military career during the campaign; a detailed study on the course and effects of the war in the Champlain Valley appeared in 1981. For this era he also meticulously edited the journal of a local physician, D.S. Kellogg, who recorded the recollections of his patients and acquaintances about the war. Everest also edited and annotated a broader array of Kellogg's journal entries from 1886 to 1909, which was published in 1970 as A Doctor for All Hours: The Private Journal of a Smalltown Doctor's Varied Life.

Everest's architectural history of Clinton County, a work on pioneer homes, and another, illustrated by his own photographs, on the urgent necessity of preserving its architectural heritage helped stimulate a local initiative to preserve as much as possible of the area's heritage. His detailed studies on local architecture and of the Delord family, whose historic house he helped build into a fascinating museum, and especially his effective use of oral history to produce his lively work on the Prohibition Era—Rum across the Border: The Prohibition Era in Northern New York (1978)—all provide an essential framework for the understanding and appreciation of these and other facets of life in Clinton County. He was a founder of the Clinton County Historical Association and served on its board of directors, as well as the editor, far into his retirement, of its quarterly publication, The Antiquarian. Everest’s interests in history were not, however, as a mere antiquarian; he delighted in showing how the present was enmeshed in the past, and how any understanding of who we are had to rest on an understanding of who we were. Often a visiting fellow at the Hull Training College and later at the University of Hull in England, he promoted the teaching of history in his research, publications, and especially in the classroom. The Special Collections in SUNY Plattsburgh’s Benjamin S. Feinberg Library, to which he would send his students for research projects, owes its depth of materials on historic northern New York State in large measure to his energies. Everest was active in campuswide faculty governance throughout his career, chairing the committee that wrote the first faculty senate bylaws at SUNY Plattsburgh between 1965 and 1967, and serving as the first chair of the Senate from 1967 to 1969.

Everest's survivors include his wife, the former Elsie Lewis; a daughter, Martha, and her family; a brother, Douglas, and his family; three grandchildren and three greatgrandchildren. His phenomenal mastery of local history, his respect and patient care for his colleagues, his fondness for his students, his wit, his genial and enthusiastic personality; his invariably generous and thoughtful nature, and his impeccable integrity will be missed by all who knew him, and by many more who will wish they had.

John L. Myers
Douglas R. Skopp
SUNY Plattsburgh

Ernst Christian Helmreich

Ernst Christian Heirnreich, the Thomas Brackett Reed professor of history emeritus at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and a life member of the American Historical Association, died on June 25, 1997, in Brunswick, two months prior to marking his 95th birthday on August 26. Heirnreich joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1931 as an instructor in history and government, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1932, associate in 1940, and professor in 1946. Named to the Reed endowed professorship (created to honor “Czar Reed,” the powerful speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, a native of Maine and Bowdoin alumnus) in 1959, Helrnreich was department chair from 1955 to 1963 and again from 1964 to 1967. He retired in 1979, having completed 40 years at Bowdoin College.

A native of Crescent City, Illinois, son of a Lutheran pastor who had emigrated from Bavaria, Helmreich graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1924, after being initiated into Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a master's degree there in 1925. For two years he instructed history at Purdue University before entering Harvard University's graduate school, from which he received a second master's degree in 1927 and a doctorate in 1932.

Our profession was enriched by Helmreich's decision in college to abandon his chemistry major and take up history as a result of coming under the influence of an inspirational history professor at Illinois. Otherwise we would have been denied that most renowned study of the diplomacy of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, which Helmreich completed as a thesis under the supervision of that doyen of diplomatic historians, William Langer (the Archibald Cary Coolidge professor of history at Harvard), to whom Helrnreich was indebted for directing his attention to eastern Europe and his lifelong absorption in study and writing about that region. As the recipient of the Sheldon Traveling Fellowship from Harvard, Helmreich visited the Balkans and central Europe to search archives and other repositories for sources he consulted in the writing of The Diplomacy of the Balkan Wars, 1912-13, a work unsurpassed since it first appeared almost 60 years ago. His exhaustive research for sources led him to interview such legendary historians as Pribram, Uebersberger, Gooch, Coolidge, McIlwain, Haskins, and Durham; and he had the privilege of interviewing Count Kokovtsov (a member of the Czar’s prewar government), Count Berchtold (the Austro-Hungarian foreign minister in 1914), and Paul Miliukov (a historian and foreign minister in Russia’s Provisional Government in 1917). Helmreich’s Bowdoin classes were enlivened by his almost photographic recall of these and other encounters. While in Munich in 1929, he saw and heard Adolf Hitler speak; his undisguised hostility toward National Socialism might well have originated from that experience.

Appointed to Bowdoin's faculty in 1931, Helmreich settled down to a long and memorable career as a teacher of undergraduates. Graduate students of history were thus deprived of his inspirational teaching and research guidance because Bowdoin has had no graduate program in history. Helmreich's appreciation of being guided in his research at Harvard is evident in his chapter in a festschrift to William Langer that his students published in 1936 called Essays in the History of Modern Europe. Helrnreich’s chapter was “The Conflict between Germany and Austria over Balkan Policy, 1913-14.” Among the contributors to that anthology honoring Langer were his graduate students who enriched the teaching of history and who remained lifelong friends: Arthur Wilson, Franklin Scott, Philip Mosely, James Clarke, Robert Woolbert, Reginald Lovell, Donald McKay, and others. Helmreich outlived them all.

Helmreich was a prolific scholar. Among his books are Religious Education in German Schools; The German Churches under Hitler (also in a German translation); Twentieth-Century Europe (with Cyril Black), a widely adopted college text that went through several editions and is now available in an updated version by Helmreich’s two sons; and Religion at BowdoinCollege: A History. He also wrote more than 200 book reviews and was a regular contributor to the Encyclopedia Americana Annuals.

In 1974 Helmreich was given Bowdoin Alumni Council's annual award for faculty and staff and was cited for his outstanding service and devotion to the college. In 1991 he was awarded the Hargraves Preservation of Freedom Fund Prize by Bowdoin for his contributions to an understanding and advancement of human freedoms. Previous awardees were former U.S. Senators George J. Mitchell and William S. Cohen and former U.S. envoy Thomas Pickering, all of whom were Helmreich's appreciative students.

In 1932 Helmreich married Louise Roberts, who had earned a PhD in history at Radcliffe College; she died in 1989. Two sons survive: Paul, a professor of history at Wheaton College, and Jonathan, a professor of history at Allegheny College. Felicitous genetics have blessed the Helmreich sons—both have followed in their parents' footsteps and both are published scholars.

In 1991 a group of Bowdoin alumni organized an effort to convince the trustees to bestow an honorary degree on their esteemed Professor Helmreich. One history major alumnus sununed up the respect and admiration his students cherished for Helmreich. He wrote: "Helmreich taught me to think. In major meetings as well as course work, we were taught a methodology … create a thesis, then subject it to the evidence. We learned that facts are often not what they seem. Historiography was fascinating, showing us that the same facts are subject to many interpretations, often modeled on whims of opinion predicated on the social forces of the times. I hope Bowdoin sees £it to honor him. There are too few like him left and our society is the poorer for it."

Sherman David Spector
Russell Sage College

C. Warren Hollister

Medieval history professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and former vice president of the AHA C. Warren Hollister died of heart failure on September 14, 1997, in Los Angeles, the city of his birth. He was 66. The only son of Nathan and Carrie Cushman Hollister, he received his bachelor's degree with honors from Harvard University in 1951. Following service in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, he pursued graduate studies in medieval history at UCLA, where he earned his MA and PhD and was the Graduate Division valedictorian in 1958.

Hollister was one of the founding members of the UCSB history department, and he established it as a powerhouse in medieval European history. A specialist in the institutions of post-Norman Conquest England, he became internationally famous for studies that emphasized the interrelationship of England and the Norman realm in Western France-Mo fields that previously had been treated as separate subjects. His book, Anglo-Saxon Military Institutions on the Eve of the Norman Conquest (1962), won the Triennial Book Prize of the Conference on British Studies and skyrocketed him to the top of the profession. He was the world authority on Henry I of England and was, at the time of his death, putting the finishing touches on a biography of Henry I, a project described as the culmination of his brilliant career.

Hollister was a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Royal Historical Society in London. In addition to his AHA vice presidency from 1974 to 1976, he served as president of the AHA Pacific Coast Branch from 1990 to 1991 and of the Medieval Association of the Pacific from 1990 to 1992. He was a member of the editorial boards of some of the finest historical journals, including the AHR, and recipient of such prized fellowships as the Fulbright and Guggenheim. But it was his textbook Medieval Europe, just issued in its eighth edition, that established him as one of the most famous historians in America. A lucid and incisive survey, it is the most widely used textbook in the field. His Western civilization lectures will be fondly remembered by generations of UCSB students. Witty as well as insightful, they were embellished with songs and tittles that he would set to the music of popular show tunes. His teaching excellence brought him a National Award for Distinguished Teaching from the Danforth Foundation in 1966 and the UCSB Outstanding Faculty Teacher award in 1983.

Hollister became a legend for the careful mentoring of his many graduate students, all of whom found jobs during the long period of drought in the profession and now are active scholars in institutions not only in America but also in Asia 'and the Middle East. All of them continue to exercise skills first learned in his seminar, especially a new appreciation for the rich charter evidence of medieval England. Undoubtedly the most important product of the Hollister seminar was a new appreciation for the unity of the realm built in the aftermath of Duke William's conquest of England in 1066. Where English scholars had limited their attention to the Anglo side of this kingdom and French scholars to the Norman side, Hollister's patient tracking of individuals from one side of the Channel to the other led him to advocate the study of an "Anglo-Norman" realm, not divided but tied together by the English Channel. Anglo-Norman history is the mark and the triumph of the Hollister School. It has forever changed the way the 11th through 13th centuries will be studied.

Author of 15 books and numerous articles, Hollister found time for extensive lecturing and travel. In addition, he had an impressive collection of "Oz" memorabilia and was an authority on the works of 1. Frank Baum, particularly The Wizard of Oz. One of his books, The Moons of Meer, is a children’s fantasy. In all of these varied pursuits, both scholarly and playful, his wife, Edith, was an “active partner. The two met in New York in 1951 and were married the following year. They had three sons. Charlie, the eldest, died in a tragic automobile accident in 1973. In addition to wife Edith, H611ister is survived by their two remaining sons and their wives, Robert and Janet of Santa Barbara, Larry and Mjkki of Pittsburg, California, and three grandchildren, Nathan Charles, Melissa, and Charles Warren, who lives with his mother, Mary Hollister of Pleasant Hills, California.

H. A. Drake
University of California at Santa Barbara

Evans C. Johnson

Stetson University professor emeritus Evans C. Johnson, who chaired Stetson's history department from 1971 to 1989, died January 5, 1998, at his DeLand, Florida, home after a long illness. He was 75.

A member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in DeLand and the West Volusia Historical Society, he was also a patron of the DeLand Museum of Art and Theatre Center, Inc. in DeLand.

"Evans Johnson was a very special person," said Stetson president Doug Lee. "He personified Stetson's ideal as both scholar and teacher, and he cared deeply for his students. We will miss him."

Born November 14, 1922, in Langdale, Alabama (presently known as Valley, Alabama), Johnson received his PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an MA in history and a BA in psychology from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He joined the Stetson faculty in 1953 and was named a full professor in 1960. Before coming to Stetson, he was an assistant professor of history at Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama, and he also taught during the 1969-70 academic year at Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia.

An expert in southern and U.S. modem history, he was named an Outstanding Educator of America in 1974. His book Oscar Underwood: A Political Biography, a study of the U.S. senator from Alabama during the Wilson-Coolidge years, won the John Sulzby Award from the Alabama Historical Association in 1983. He also edited and wrote the introduction for A Pictorial History of West Volusia County, 1879-1940. He moved to senior active status at Stetson in 1990 and was named professor emeritus when he retired in 1996. The students he taught and advised were close to his heart, and for more than 25 years he compiled and circulated a popular biannual newsletter for history alumni and friends, with the latest edition mailed in December 1997. Johnson was proud of his former students; they kept in touch and often expressed their gratitude to him. “You became a part of our lives, not just someone who was standing in a classroom. You cared enough to require us to think,” said Pinellas County Court Judge Torn Freeman of St. Petersburg in a recent letter to Johnson. Freeman graduated from Stetson in 1966 and received a Stetson law degree in 1969. Ira Holmes, a 1956 Stetson graduate, now dean at Central Florida Community College in Ocala, thanked Johnson recently by letter “for sharing with so many others and me your knowledge and understanding of American history, and for providing us an example of character and integrity to emulate.”

Several years ago Johnson and a former colleague in history, senior active professor Malcolm Wynn, undertook the Wynn Johnson Book Fund drive, which resulted in contributions of close to $30,000 for Stetson's duPont-Ball Library. He also helped raise funds for the (Gilbert) Lycan Seminar Room and the Johns E. John: Lecture Room in Elizabeth Hall. In the last months of his life he had begun a new fundraising effort: a Student Retention Scholarship Fund for students who do well at Stetson but cannot meet tuition increases.

Listed in Who's Who in the South and the Southwest, The Directory of American Scholars, and Who's Who in Education, he has published articles in The Historian, Alabama Review, The Encyclopedia of Southern History, Foundations, and Encyclopedia Britannica.

He was a member of the American Historical Association, Florida Historical Association, Southern Historical Association, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honorary, Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity, and Phi Alpha Theta history fraternity, whose manuscripts committee he led for many years.

With his wife, Betty, associate director for technical services at the duPont-Ball Library, he enjoyed traveling abroad every summer, often to South America. His other hobbies included the stock market, searching out antiques, and walking.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother, J.W. Johnson Jr., of Lanett, Alabama, his sister, Marie Cunningham, of Florence, Alabama, and a number of nieces and nephews.

Courtesy Stetson University

Jean T. Joughin

Jean T. Joughin, distinguished scholar of modern French history, former vice president of the Professional Division of the American Historical Association, and president of the Society for French Historical Studies, died of lung cancer at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston on October 20, 1997. She was 76. Joughin was professor emerita at American University in Washington, D.C., where she taught courses in French history and general European history courses from 1959 to 1983. In 1973 she was visiting professor at Stanford University. She also taught at Swarthmore College, the University of Texas, and the University of Rhode Island, as well as Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and the City College of New York.

Joughin is best known for her two-volume study, The Paris Commune in French Politics, 1871-1880: The History of the Amnestyof 1880. It is a study of the significance of the revolutionary municipal council or “Commune” established by republicans in Paris and lasting from March to May 1871. The Paris Commune was violently suppressed with tens of thousands arrested, executed, or deported. The struggle between the National Assembly and the Commune was an important episode leading to the founding of the Third Republic in France. The aftermath of the struggle shaped French politics for decades. Joughin also wrote an overview of the historical literature on France in the 19th century, published in 1968 by the AHA, and more than 30 articles and reviews. At the time of her death, Joughin was at work on a book manuscript on industrial conflict in late 19th-century France, “The Uses of Power in the Blanzy Basin, 1808-1914: A Case Study of Social Control and Rebellion at Montceau-les Mines, France,”

Internationally known for her scholarship, Joughin was honored for her work by the government of France, receiving the Chevalier dans L'Ordre des Palmes academiques In 1984. Her scholarship was supported by grants from the American Philosophical Society, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

Well-known and much respected by her professional colleagues, Joughin was elected vice president of the AHA's Professional Division, a post she held from 1975 to 1977. From 1979 to 1980 she was president of the Society of French Historical Studies, the prestigious organization of scholars of French history.

Joughin was born in 1921 and raised in Galveston, Texas, the daughter of a physician, Dr. Sam and Kathleen Templin. She was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, receiving her MA a year later and a PhD from the same institution in 1947. Between 1944 and 1946 she was a labor market analyst for the War Manpower Commission. She worked as a labor economist in the Wage Division of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1950 to 1952. From 1956 to 1958 she was a high school history teacher at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York

For 50 years she was married to Louis Joughin, best known for his coauthorship with Edmund Morgan of The Legacy of Sacco and Vanzetti. He was also a college professor and later a prominent figure in the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association of University Professors. He died in 1991. Jean Joughin is survived by a sister, Marian Hamilton, of San Antonio, a daughter, Celia Joughin, of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and two grandchildren, Alan Louis Thompson and Carol Jean Thompson.

Alan M. Kraut
American University

Wilcomb Washburn

Wilcomb Washburn of the Smithsonian Institution died of cancer at his home in Washington, D.C., on February 1, 1997. During his 38 years at the Smithsonian, where he headed the American Studies Program, Washburn established a professional reputation as one of the major American historians of his generation, according to longtime friend and colleague Bernard Mergen of George Washington University.

Washburn was that rarity among historians, a "public intellectual"—fluent in several languages and a purveyor of American studies abroad; comfortable with the media and unafraid to criticize superficial thinking of both the left and the right, added Mergen.

To residents on the lower eastern shore of Maryland, however, where Washburn and his wife maintained a second home, they were equally known for their personal generosity: the couple established a college scholarship for local students in Somerset County—one of the poorest in Maryland—and befriended a nearby university struggling to create a unique research center devoted to mid-Atlantic history.

Since Washburn's death, the Donner Foundation of New York, on whose board he served, and Salisbury State University, which he befriended in his later years, have joined together to find a suitable memorial for the respected historian. With $75,000 from the Donner Foundation, the university has now established a four-part Washburn Endowment in History. It includes a lecture series bringing nationally recognized speakers to the university to talk about American history-the region's first such series; a scholarship program to encourage both undergraduate and graduate study; an annual award to a scholar for research on some aspect of eastern shore history; and travel/research monies for Salisbury State University history faculty, including staff of the Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture.

Said Kathryn Cousins Washburn, "My husband was very impressed by the concern for scholarly accuracy, the interest in primary sources, and great care of documents—even the atmosphere of SSU's research center." The archive contains not only copies but thousands of original source materials and collections, some dating back hundreds of years.

Because of its location between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the eastern shore was one of the earliest settled regions of the country. But its geography also kept it isolated from the rest of the East Coast during much of America's development Unlike many parts of the South, eastern shore courthouses were not burned during the Civil War, and up until the 1950s, when the first Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built, geography preserved a way of life and culture strongly rooted in the past. The result for the Research Center has been access to treasure troves of American ephemera and original source documents. According to Dr. G. Ray Thompson, chair of SSU's history department and a research center founder, "The Middle Colonies, and particularly Delmarva (the shore is comprised of portions of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) have never been studied as thoroughly as the other colonies. This grant will be the beginning of the future."

Already, with no publicity, the 4,200-square foot center is enjoying a steady stream of researchers from Connecticut to California. Now, with the Washburn Endowment, "it should propel the center into the national spotlight in the history community," said Becky Miller, its director.

The first step has been taken. The December issue of Perspectives announced the first Delmarva History Prize. The research center selected James R. Perry’s book, The Formation of a Society on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1615-1655, for the $1,500 award, made in memory.

“Wilcomb Washburn was the first person beyond this region to recognize what we have here,” said SSU president William C. Merwin. “We are most grateful to him, his wife, Kathy, and to the Donner Foundation for their faith in our institution and research center. With the momentum from their gift, we hope the center may ultimately have as profound an influence on American historical studies in the 21st century as Washburn’s work has had on the 20th. I can think of no better way to honor his ideals—love of history, love of country, and love of truth.”

Courtesy Salisbury State University

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