Nantucket Historical Association to Host Doctoral Fellow


NANTUCKET – The Nantucket Historical Association will welcome an English program doctoral candidate at Northwestern University from May 15th through the 26th.

Meaghan Fritz’s dissertation, “American Widows Willed: Extralegal Citizenship and the Literature of Widowhood” will be bolstered by manuscripts and documents she goes through at the NHA.

The dissertation will examine the conditions of widowhood which changed the lives of American women from the Salem witch trials to the Civil War.

In particular, her Cape-bound research will help complete the work’s third chapter, where Fritz will break down her hypothesis that in seafaring towns where husbands were often absent, women made the most progress towards democratic equality prior to suffrage.

Her fellowship, the E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship, was established in  1999 in an effort to enhance the public’s knowledge of Nantucket’s heritage and encourage research in the collections there.

Fritz will also spend time at the Sandwich Historical Society during her visit.

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