Alumnae Publications

Alumnae Publications and graduate fellowship information

The Skinner Fellowship

Deadline: Noon on Friday, 10 February
The bequest of Joseph Skinner, a nineteenth-century industrialist who was a Trustee and Benefactor of the College. The Skinner Fellowship in History is awarded to a graduate of Mount Holyoke College who is pursuing graduate study on a full-time basis in a program that leads to a PhD degree in history. Previous recipients have worked on a range of periods and subjects. The fellowship is intended to assist graduate students in the completion of their degrees. Preference is therefore given to applicants who are completing their dissertations. Ready to apply? Please proceed to the online application form

Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800-1860 By Anne Hyde '82
Hyde is a Professor of the history of Native America at Colorado College

Empires, Nations, and Families shows how the world of river and maritime trade effectively shifted political power away from military and diplomatic circles into the hands of local people. Tracing family stories from the Canadian North to the Spanish and Mexican borderlands and from the Pacific Coast to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, Anne F. Hyde’s narrative moves from the earliest years of the Indian trade to the Mexican War and the gold rush era. Her work reveals how, in the 1850s, immigrants to these newest regions of the United States violently wrested control from Native and other powers, and how conquest and competing demands for land and resources brought about a volatile frontier culture—not at all the peace and prosperity that the new power had promised

Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government (Jeffersonian America) By Catherine Allgor FP ‘92
Professor of Early America, political women, public history at University of California Riverside

When Thomas Jefferson moved his victorious Republican administration into the new capital city in 1801, one of his first acts was to abolish any formal receptions, except on New Year's Day and the Fourth of July. His successful campaign for the presidency had been partially founded on the idea that his Federalist enemies had assumed dangerously aristocratic trappings—a sword for George Washington and a raised dais for Martha when she received people at social occasions—in the first capital cities of New York and Philadelphia. When the ladies of Washington City, determined to have their own salon, arrived en masse at the president's house, Jefferson met them in riding clothes, expressing surprise at their presence. His deep suspicion of any occasion that resembled a European court caused a major problem, however: without the face-to-face relationships and networks of interest created in society, the American experiment in government could not function. Into this conundrum, writes Catherine Allgor, stepped women like Dolley Madison and Louisa Catherine Adams, women of political families who used the unofficial, social sphere to cement the relationships that politics needed to work. Not only did they create a space in which politics was effectively conducted; their efforts legitimated the new republic and the new capital in the eyes of European nations, whose representatives scoffed at the city's few amenities and desolate setting. Covered by the prescriptions of their gender, Washington women engaged in the dirty business of politics, which allowed their husbands to retain their republican purity. Constrained by the cultural taboos on "petticoat politicking," women rarely wrote forthrightly about their ambitions and plans, preferring to cast their political work as an extension of virtuous family roles. But by analyzing their correspondence, gossip events, "etiquette wars," and the material culture that surrounded them, Allgor finds that these women acted with conscious political intent. In the days before organized political parties, the social machine built by these early federal women helped to ease the transition from a failed republican experiment to a burgeoning democracy.