Each year, The Colonial Dames of America through its Education and Scholarship Committee awards grants to several institutions for student fellowships, history education initatives, archaeological studies, and historic preservation projects.
Below are the 2023 awardees, as well as the long-standing recipients of CDA grants.
This year, CDA is supporting six institutions with grants totaling nearly $22,000.
The Andalusia Historic House, Gardens, & Arboretum, pictured left, is a 50-acre site overlooking the Delaware River, just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. CDA funding is contributing to the renovation of the property’s Garden House (to include a Gallery, Theater, and Welcome Center) as part of a larger strategy to expand interpretation, improve amenities, and increase visitation.
CDA funding has offset the full cost of one student at the ECU Archaeological Field School’s summer program. This year’s program worked on the excavation of a now-buried 18th-Century tavern within the Brunswick Town State Historic Site in North Carolina.
The mission of Friends of Old Mobile is to generate support for the preservation, interpretation, and research into the history of the site of the first European colonial settlement in the state of Alabama. CDA is funding the design and manufacture of six interpretive panels to be placed at the Old Mobile site. These panels will help visitors better understand the site in its historical setting through written descriptions and visual imagery (as no above-ground historic structures remain to be viewed).
LEFT: Drawing of Fort Louis de la Louisiane from a 1705 map of Old Mobile.
The award-winning History Hunters Youth Reporter Program is a field trip program that offers a “year-long history lesson” to underserved Philadelphia school children. Approximately 40,000 students have been served since the program’s inception.
CDA has also granted $2500 to fund a Fellowship for Historical Editing in historical research to the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture. The OI is an independent research organization sponsored by the College of William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. Its mission is to support scholars and scholarship and to share that work widely for the public good, via events and programs, fellowships, and publications (including its distinguished book series and journal, the William and Mary Quarterly).
Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley of St. Charles, Illinois, promotes the appreciation and preservation of Fox Valley’s rich architectural and historical resources through educational programing and the operation of five historic sites. CDA specifically supports the Fayban Villa Museum, the 325-acre estate of Colonel George Fayban and the site of his research laboratory which pioneered American codebreaking during WWI. CDA funding has contributed to the installation of additional interpretive signage and the hiring of additional staff to keep up with public demand.
RIGHT: William Friedman and Elizebeth Smith Friedman met, then later married, when they were hired by COL George Fayban to study cryptography at his Riverbank Laboratories, where they developed many principles of modern cryptology and aided the U.S. government during World War I.
The Colonial Dames of America is proud to have provided long-standing support the these entities.
CDA has had a relationship with this project since 1907, when the Society donated the memorial gates. In 2019, CDA raised funds to restore, reguild, and landscape these entrance gates to Historic Jamestowne. A grant to Historic Jamestowne Rediscovery supports a Colonial Dames of America Fellow in Archaeology working under the supervision of archaeologists at Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Since the discovery of the original palisade fortifications, archaeologists have continued to make significant finds. Excavations of the remains of “Jane,” who died during the 1609-1610 Starving Time; a fully articulated skeleton of an 18th century horse, and four graves within the 1608 church (the first Protestant Church in North America) have made a dramatic impact on our understanding of that period.
A grant to the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia supports a fellowship in historical editing. The fellowship offers a talented young graduate student the opportunity to build upon the skills that she or he has acquired as an Institute editorial apprentice during the academic year. The fellowship supports his or her continued editorial work throughout the summer following the apprenticeship and thus makes a significant contribution to the Institute’s ability to maintain the high standards for which all of its publications—the William and Mary Quarterly and book manuscripts—are known.
A grant to the Graduate Center of History at the City University of New York is awarded to a graduate student writing a dissertation on a topic in American history. The 2014 recipient was Christopher Morell, whose research focuses on female benevolence in the Early Republic, including charitable organizations as sites of contested political space and the relationship between charitable workers and the working-class community of New York City. This gift was presented in honor of Presidential Professor of History, Carol Berkin.