|Stewart to Research Early American History in Philadelphia|
UST history major Whitney Stewart has been chosen as one of 10 students from universities across the United States as a SHEAR/Mellon Undergraduate Fellow by the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. The award will provide funding for Stewart to travel to Philadelphia this summer to complete research at what many historians consider to be the best archives for early American history. She will also spend time at the University of Pennsylvania’s McNeil Center for Early American Studies to engage in scholarly discussions with other fellows.
She plans to focus her research on her senior thesis, a comparative study of Quakers in Pennsylvania and Baptists in Alabama, which will be circulated among top scholars familiar with the topic at various universities across the country. Specifically, Stewart will examine the ways in which the bodies of both churches are organized, how the meeting houses are constructed and how parishioners worship, looking at the similarities and differences between the two Protestant religions.
“The history that surrounds Philadelphia is incredible and I’m very excited to conduct research in the same archives as some of the scholars whose books I’ve read.” Stewart said.
Dr. Mark Nicholas, assistant professor of history, has acted as Stewart’s mentor throughout her research. He says he is incredibly proud of Stewart for winning the fellowship, as it opens up many opportunities not normally available to undergraduate students.
“This is the highest achievement a student of Whitney’s standing can get,” he said. “I think it will propel her into one of the top Ph.D. programs in the country for her field of study.”
As part of the fellowship program, he will travel to Philadelphia for the last five days to work with her in the archives and also to conduct research for his upcoming book on Seneca Indians, titled “A Seneca New Order, Culture and the State, 1783 to 1855.” It will be published by Michigan State University Press for its American Indian Studies Series.
Stewart will also present research at UST’s Undergraduate Research Symposium this April on the Eaton Affair, a scandal in Jacksonian politics. Specifically, she will look at the way gossip was used in politics. She will later present the research at St. Thomas University in Fredricton, New Brunswick, Canada.