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Grant number like: FA-54049-08

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Larry Isaac
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Prizes]

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2008 – 12/31/2008

Elite Paramilitaries in the Gilded Age: Private Militias in Cleveland, Ohio

This project seeks to explain the formation, mobilization record, and trajectory of two independent (private) militias that formed in Gilded Age Cleveland, Ohio. Scholars have known of the existence of 19th-century independent militias, but there is very little detailed data on who populated the memberships, what these organizations actually did, and what organizational trajectory they followed. I seek to answer these and related questions using primary data on the "First City Troop of Cleveland" and the "Cleveland Gatling Gun Battery" held at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. These private militias, founded by elite men of Cleveland in 1877, will serve as a unique window on Gilded Age Victorian male life. The analysis will add to our understanding of class formation, manliness, the "labor problem," the "military question," and the relationship between private armed force and state building in Gilded Age America.