Research Programs: Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Period of Performance

6/1/2004 - 5/31/2008

Funding Totals

$378,000.00 (approved)
$378,000.00 (awarded)

NEH Fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society

FAIN: RA-50013-04

American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA 01609-1634)
John B. Hench (Project Director: September 2003 to October 2005)
John B. Hench (Project Director: October 2005 to May 2009)
John M. Keenum (Project Director: October 2005 to October 2005)

Three humanities fellowships each year for three years.

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) seeks continued NEH funding for its long-term fellowship program. Previous grants have helped support a rich and deep body of scholarship in many fields and have stimulated the development of the history of the book. For three decades, AAS fellowships have made the Society's unparalleled resources for the study of American history and culture through 1876 more readily available to scholars from throughout the nation, have fostered a productive culture of collegiality among fellows and staff, and have enabled the Society to enhance its services to humanistic scholarship in and about the United States.

Associated Products

We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States (Book)
Title: We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United States
Author: Richard Bell
Abstract: Though suicide is an individual act, the author reveals its broad social implications in early America. From Revolution to Reconstruction, everyone--parents, newspapermen, ministers and abolitionists alike--debated the meaning of suicide as a portent of danger or of possibility in a new nation struggling to define itself and its power.
Year: 2012
Primary URL:
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780674063723

Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson (Book)
Title: Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson
Author: Joshua D. Rothman
Abstract: During the summer of 1835, five men accused of being professional gamblers were hanged in Vicksburg, nearly a score of others implicated with a gang of supposed slave thieves were executed in plantation districts, and those who tried to stop the bloodshed found themselves targeted as dangerous and subversive. Rothman details why these events, which engulfed much of central and western Mississippi, came to pass. He also explains how the events revealed the fears, insecurities, and anxieties underpinning the cotton boom that made Mississippi the most seductive and exciting frontier in the Age of Jackson. As investors, settlers, slaves, brigands, and fortune-hunters converged in what was then America's Southwest, they created a tumultuous landscape that promised boundless opportunity and spectacular wealth. Predicated on ruthless competition, unsustainable debt, brutal exploitation, and speculative financial practices that looked a lot like gambling, this landscape also produced such profound disillusionment and conflict that it contained the seeds of its own potential destruction. Rothman sheds light on the intertwining of slavery and capitalism in the period leading up to the Panic of 1837, highlighting the deeply American impulses underpinning the evolution of the slave South and the dizzying yet unstable frenzy wrought by economic flush times. It is a story with lessons for our own day.
Year: 2012
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Publisher's website
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780820333267
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

Salvaging Legal Personhood: Melville’s "Benito Cereno" (Article)
Title: Salvaging Legal Personhood: Melville’s "Benito Cereno"
Author: Jeannine DeLombard
Abstract: abstract not available
Year: 2010
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: American Literature


Hennig Cohen Prize
Date: 1/1/2010
Organization: The Melville Society
Abstract: for excellence in scholarship and writing in an article or book chapter on Melville

Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore (Book)
Title: Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore
Author: Seth Rockman
Abstract: "Enslaved mariners, white seamstresses, Irish dockhands, free black domestic servants, and native-born street sweepers. All navigated the low-end labor market in post-revolutionary Baltimore. Seth Rockman considers this diverse workforce, exploring how race, sex, nativity, and legal status determined the economic opportunities and vulnerabilities of working families in the early republic. In the era of Frederick Douglass, Baltimore's distinctive economy featured many slaves who earned wages and white workers who performed backbreaking labor. By focusing his study on this boomtown, Rockman reassesses the roles of race and region and rewrites the history of class and capitalism in the United States during this time. Rockman describes the material experiences of low-wage workers -- how they found work, translated labor into food, fuel, and rent, and navigated underground economies and social welfare systems. He also explores what happened if they failed to find work or lost their jobs. Rockman argues that the American working class emerged from the everyday struggles of these low-wage workers. Their labor was indispensable to the early republic's market revolution, and it was central to the transformation of the United States into the wealthiest society in the Western world. Rockman's research includes construction site payrolls, employment advertisements, almshouse records, court petitions, and the nation's first "living wage" campaign. These rich accounts of day laborers and domestic servants illuminate the history of early republic capitalism and its consequences for working families." -- Publisher description.
Year: 2009
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978080189006


Merle Curti Social History Award
Date: 1/1/2009
Organization: Organization of American Historians
Abstract: Two awards are given annually by the Organization of American Historians: one to the author of the best book in American social history; and one to the author of the best book in American intellectual history.

Philip Taft Labor History Book Award
Date: 1/1/2009
Organization: Cornell University
Abstract: The outstanding book on American labor history published during the preceding calendar year.