It’s been far too long since my last update. But never fear, this intrepid scholar is alive and well. I survived my summer roadtrip (via Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, George, South Carolina, North Carolina and back home) and three weeks in the Mississippi July heat while collecting materials at the U.S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University. If you ever get a chance to go down to the Grant library, I highly recommend it, despite the humidity, as the staff is wonderful and they have amazing material. When I left, they were unloading two semi-trailers of new Lincolniana! They even have a small research award available.
After all those travels, it felt amazing to settle into the superb living quarters for my six month fellowship at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington (phew, that’s a long title). I’m ensconced in an office across the hall from Founding Director Douglas Bradburn and his wonderful executive assistant Mary, and right next door to Peter Cressy, a retired rear admiral and former CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, who works with the Leadership Institute at the library. So I have a front row seat to all the hijinks, and yes, they sometimes involve some exceptional beverages. Friday I walked in to see Dr. Bradburn getting his portrait drawn. I never know what I’ll find happening here.
The estate is as gorgeous as ever, and I’m enjoying abusing my privileges to the utmost by taking walks after hours and attending a number of lectures. Of course I’m also here to work, and have been making progress, slowly but surely, on collecting research material and pursuing professional opportunities. More on those topics later. But until then, enjoy my gallery of photos below from my first months here at Mount Vernon.