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 2020 awardees, as well as the long-standing recipients of CDA grants.

2020 Education and Scholarship Recipients


This year, CDA is supporting six institutions with grants totaling nearly $15,000.

Plimoth Plantation Exhibition

In honor of the 400th anniversary of the “Mayflower” landing, CDA has funded an innovative exhibition at Plimoth Plantation called “Unearthed Voices of 17th Century Plimoth/Patuxet” with a $5000 grant. Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts founded in 1947. It attempts to replicate the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by the English colonists who became known as the Pilgrims.

American History Workshops for Educators

CDA and The Society of Colonial Wars in the State of New York (SCW-NY) are working together to provide a multi-year grant to The New York Historical Society Museum & Library for funding New York teacher professional development workshops in history. This will enhance teachers ability to teach American History, sorely needed in today’s schools. Both CDA & SCW-NY have similar missions which include raising awareness of American colonial history, 1607-1775.

Port of Brunswick Archaeology Project

The Dames are funding an archaeology project at a colonial site in the old Port of Brunswick. Pictured here is Dr. Charles Ewen, Professor of Archaeology at East Carolina University (ECU), being presented a $1500 check by Elizabeth Sparrow, Treasurer of CDA Chapter XXIX-North Carolina, on behalf of CDA. The Port of Brunswick was an important British port in the 18th century until it was raided by the British during the Revolutionary War and never rebuilt. The land was used to build a fort during the Civil War and today is part of a state historic site.

Fairfield Foundation Education Archaeology Workshops

The Fairfield Foundation has received several historic preservation grants from the Society since 2010, including support for the Werowocomoco Archaeological site, “Powhatan’s Seat,” now to become a National Park. This year’s grant was for educational archaeology workshops. Pictured here is Thane Harpole (center), a director of The Fairfield Foundation being presented a check on behalf of the Society by Jocelyn Lance (left), Chapter XXIII – Virginia President and Chairman of CDA’s Education and Scholarship Committee, and a check on behalf of Chapter XXIII by Mary Ellen Winks, Chapter XXIII’s Treasurer.

Fellowship at the Omohundro Institute

CDA has also granted $2500 to fund a fellowship for historical editing in historical research to the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, an independent research organization sponsored by the College of William & Mary. This fellowship has had long-standing support from CDA, for which more can be read above. The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture encompasses the history and cultures of North America from circa 1450 to 1820.

Savannah College of Arts & Design (SCAD) Research

CDA, through its Education & Scholarship Committee, is also funding graduate research on the development of the modern department store as well as on the freedoms of women in the 19th and 20th centuries by students at the Savannah College of Arts & Design. SCAD supports several history-focused degrees, include Art History, Preservation Design, and Architectual History.

Long-standing Grant Recipients


The Colonial Dames of America is proud to have provided long-standing support the these entities.

Historic Jamestowne Rediscovery


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.

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

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.

Graduate Center of History at City University, New York

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.