Marymount University, Arlington, VA
Assistant Professor of History                                                                    August 2017-present

Papers of James Monroe, University of Mary Washington
Associate Editor                                                                                             July 2014-July 2017
Assistant Editor                                                                                         March 2012-June 2014

PhD University of Pennsylvania, Department of History                                May 2012

MA George Washington University, American Studies                                  May 2005

BA George Washington University, American Studies                                   May 2004
Graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Books and Articles
First Family: George Washington’s Heirs and the Making of America (Harper Collins, forthcoming 2023)

“Defining the Family of Washington: Meaning, Blood, and Power in the New American Nation,” Journal of Social History (Summer 2022) [early access link]

“Washington Family Fortune: Lineage and Capital in Nineteenth Century America,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Winter 2020

Founding Friendships: Friendships Between Men and Women in America’s Founding Era, 1780-1830 (Oxford University Press, 2015)
Winner of the 2016 Organization of American Historians Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History

Papers of James Monroe, Volume 5: 1803-1811, edited with Daniel Preston (ABC-Clio: September 2014)

“Friendly Relations: Situating Cross-Gender Friendships in the Early Republic,” Gender & History, April 2012

“‘A Transcript of My Heart’: The Unpublished Diaries of Margaret Bayard Smith,” Washington History, Fall/Winter 2005

Edited Volumes
Papers of James Monroe, Volume 7: 1814-1817, edited with Daniel Preston & Robert Karachuck (ABC-Clio: 2020)

Papers of James Monroe, Volume 6: 1811-1814, edited with Daniel Preston (ABC-Clio: April 2017)

Papers of James Monroe, Volume 5: 1803-1811, edited with Daniel Preston (ABC-Clio: September 2014)

Reviews, Encyclopedia Entries, & Bibliographies
Review of Jeanne Abrams, First Ladies of the Republic: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and the Creation of an Iconic American Role, in Journal of the Early Republic, Fall 2019

Review of Gordon Wood, Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, in Reviews in American History, March 2019

Review of Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Ties That Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves, in William & Mary Quarterly, Spring 2018

Review of Laurel Clark Shire, The Threshold of Manifest Destiny: Gender and National Expansion in Florida, in Journal of Southern History, February 2018

Review of Flora Fraser, The Washingtons: George and Martha:’Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love, in Journal of the Early Republic, Winter 2017

Review of C. Dallett Hemphill, Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in Early America, in Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Winter 2016

“James Monroe,” with Scott Harris. In Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History.

Review of Kate Haulman, The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth Century America, Pennsylvania History, Spring 2014

Review of In the Words of Women, ed. North, Wedge, and Freeman, Pennsylvania History, Winter 2013

“George Washington Parke Custis” and “Friendships of George Washington,” Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington,

Academic Presentations

“The Washington Empire,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), July 2021

“The ‘Amazonian Wife’: The Life and Loves of Eliza Parke Custis,” Adventurous Wives in the Long Eighteenth Century, Chawton House, May 15, 2021

“Servants of General Washington? Free Blacks and the Power of Imagined Social Capital,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), July 2019

Roundtable, “The new history of the family in early America,” Organization of American Historians, April 2019

Roundtable, “Teaching with Material Culture and Historic Sites,” American Historical Association, January 2018

“Washington Family Fortune: Lineage and Social Capital in the 19th Century South,” Southern Historical Association, November 2017

“‘Determined to be cheerful’: The Emotional Work of the Washingtons as First Family,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), July 2017

“Defining the ‘family of WASHINGTON,'” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), July 2016

“The Gift of Friendship: Rituals of Exchange in Heterosocial Friendships of the Early American Republic,” Smithsonian American Art Museum brownbag series, April 1, 2016 [invited lecture]

“Making the Historical Personal: The Founding Fathers, Gender, and the Cultural Turn, ” Society for U.S. Intellectual History, Washington, DC, October 2015

“James Monroe and the Passions of Foreign Policy,” Society for Historians of American Foreign Policy, Arlington, VA, June 2015

“The ‘Amazonian Wife’: The Politics, Loves, and Public Image of Eliza Custis Law,” Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/Society of Early Americanists Joint Annual Conference, Chicago, June 2015

Chair and Commentator, “Men’s Emotions in 18th Century Virginia,” Virginia Forum, Richmond, March 2015

“Founding Friendships at the Library of Congress,” Women’s History Discussion Group, Library of Congress, June 5, 2014

“Making Friends, Making Gender: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Atlantic World,” Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Annual Conference,  June 2013.

“Friends in Power: Early American First Ladies’ Friendships with Men,” Double Lives of the First Ladies Conference, Texas State University-San Marcos, March 1, 2013.

“ ‘You would exert your friendship for us’: Friendships Between Men and Women in the Early Republic,” presented at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), July 2012

“Between Friends: Rules and Rituals of Gift Exchange Between Heterosocial Friends,” presented at the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Student Colloquium, University of Pennsylvania, November 17, 2011.

“Friends and Lovers: Friendship and Romance in Mixed-Sex Friendships in the Early American Republic,” presented at the Newberry Library, Scholl Center, Seminar on Women and Gender, October 24, 2011

“‘The Specious Name of Friend’: Representations of Heterosocial Friendship in the Literature of Sensibility,” presented at the Colloquium on Early American Literature and Culture, New York University, March 23, 2011

“Faithful Friends: The Sacred Ties of Heterosocial Friendship in the Early American Republic,” American Historical Association conference, January 9, 2011

“Friendly Relations: Situating Cross-Gender Friendships in the Early Republic,” McNeil Center for Early American Studies, September 22, 2010

“Teaching Rosemarie Zagarri’s Revolutionary Backlash,” McNeil Center for Early American Studies, June 14, 2010

“ ‘The soft whispers of private friendship’: Heterosocial Friendships Among the Political Elite in the Early Republic,” SHEAR 2009 conference, July 2009.

“A Technical Masterpiece: Maxfield Parrish’s Daybreak and the Fusion of Art and Technology,” presentation at Artefacts Conference, Smithsonian Institution, October 5, 2008.

“Shedding Light on Daybreak: Maxfield Parrish’s Painting as a Modern Art Commodity,” presentation at the Mid Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, October 27-29, 2006.

“Politeness as Power: Etiquette and Political Culture in Early Washington, D.C.,” presentation at the Middle Atlantic American Studies Association, Harrisburg, PA, April 1, 2006.

Public Outreach

Friends in Power: Early American First Ladies’ Friendships with Men, First Ladies Symposium, White House Historical Association, May 6, 2021

The Enslaved Community at Woodlawn, Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House, April 8, 2021

America’s Founding Women, audio course, The Great Courses/, released March 16, 2021

“Washington Family Fortune: Relics, Power, and Identity in 19th Century America,” Mount Vernon Connoisseur Society Annual Lecture, March 15, 2021

Founding Friendships, Read the Revolution Series, Museum of the American Revolution, March 9, 2021

Women of the Founding Era, Oasis Lifelong Learning, February 16, 2021

Founding Friendships, Oasis Lifelong Learning, September 15, 2020

Friends in Power: Early American First Ladies’ Friendships with Men, First Ladies Colloquium, American University’s First Ladies Initiative and the White House Historical Association, May 19, 2020

Founding Friendships, Albany Institute of History and Art, October 27, 2019

Founders in the Friend Zone, Profs and Pints, Bier Baron Tavern, Washington, DC, April 18, 2019

Family Ties to Freedom: A Discussion with Descendants, Sandy Spring Museum, April 14, 2019

Children of the Pater Patriae: George Washington’s Step-Grandchildren and the Power of Family, Tudor Place, March 26, 2019

“Daughters of the Pater Patriae: The Custis Step-Granddaughters’ Relationship with George Washington,” George Washington Symposium, Mount Vernon, November 3, 2018

“The Women of Hamilton,” Profs & Pints, September 16, 2018

Founding Friendships, Speaker Series, Historic Sotterley, June 20, 2018

Founding Fathers in the “Friend Zone,” Profs & Pints, April 16, 2018

Keynote speaker, Seward Stories, University of Rochester, April 11, 2018

Keynote speaker, Carter Society Annual Meeting, September 23, 2017

Constitution Day Keynote Speaker, Marywood University, September 15, 2016

Founding Friendships, Monticello/Jefferson Library, June 2016

Founding Friendships, Tenley-Friendship Library, DCPL, February 3, 2016

Featured Interview at Grateful American Foundation on James Monroe, January 2016,

Founding Friendships, Powel House, Philadelphia, December 3, 2015

“James Monroe and Foreign Policy,” CSPAN American History TV, June 26, 2015

Founding Friendships, Ford Evening Book talk, Fred. W Smith National Library, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, July 23, 2015

Founding Friendships, Arlington Central Library, June 30, 2015

Founding Friendships, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Lecture Series, Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia, June 3, 2015

Workshop and book talk with high school sophomore class, Holton-Arms School, Bethesda, MD, April 2, 2015

Founding Friendships, Books and Beyond Series, Library of Congress, March 24, 2015

Families and Friendships of the Founding Era, Virginia Festival of the Book, March 22, 2015

Founding Friendships, Society of the Cincinnati, March 17, 2015

Founding Friendships, Women’s History Month Lecture, Library Company of Philadelphia, March 3, 2015

Founding Friendships, Speaker Series, Politics & Prose bookstore, February 14, 2015

Featured historian, “Andrew Jackson’s Election and Inauguration,” Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel), airing Fall 2014

“The Course of True Friendship Never Did Run Smooth: James Monroe and George Washington’s Evolving Relationship,” Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Teacher Institute, August 6, 2014

Session Organizer and Chair, James Monroe, Life and Legacy Symposium, University of Mary Washington, October 19, 2013

“Female Friends of the Founders,” Second Annual Women’s History Lecture, James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library, March 27, 2013

Articles for Popular Audiences

“Molly Pitcher, The Most Famous American Hero Who Never Existed,” Smithsonian Magazine Online, March 17, 2021

“Did George Washington Have ‘A Couple of Things in His Past?,’” The Atlantic, September 28, 2018

“New Online: Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton Papers,” Library of Congress blog, July 5, 2017

“New Online: Margaret Bayard Smith Papers,” Library of Congress blog, June 28, 2017

“What Did George Washington Think About Nepotism?,” History News Network, April 16, 2017

“French Imposters, Diplomatic Double Speak, and Buried Archival Treasures,” The Junto Blog, April 10, 2017

“A Relationship Revealed,” Notches Blog, January 24, 2017

“The Sole American Killed in the 1814 Burning of D.C. Was Related to George Washington,” Smithsonian Magazine, December 8, 2016

“Hair Jewelry Celebrating a Presidential Friendship,” Mental Floss, July 22, 2016

“How Early-19th-Century Students Cemented Their Bonds Through Friendship Albums,”, May 6, 2016

“Comb Through This Framed Collection of Presidential Hair,” Smithsonian Magazine, February 9, 2016

“The Flirtatious Friendship of Alexander Hamilton and Angelica Church Hits Broadway,” OUP Blog, November 17, 2015

“That Time When Alexander Hamilton Almost Dueled James Monroe,” Smithsonian Magazine, October 26, 2015

“The Strange Saga of George Washington’s Bedpan,” Smithsonian Magazine, August 20, 2015

““When Harry Met Sally” Meets Early America,” Families as They Really Are blog, July 28, 2015

“John Paul Jones and His Romantic Romp Through Paris,” Smithsonian Magazine, April 21, 2015

Love Stories of America’s Founding Friends, OUP Blog, February 14, 2015

Founding fathers’ female pen pals, Smithsonian Magazine, February 13, 2015

“Diplomacy, Slavery, Quids, and Much More in the Latest Volume of the Papers of James Monroe,” The Junto Blog, October 7, 2014

“Ann Perrin’s Album is Far From Commonplace,” Unique at Penn, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, May 31, 2012

Teaching Experience
Instructor                                                                                                              Fall 2017-present
Marymount University

  • teach the history department’s early American courses, including US History to 1877, Colonial America & the American Revolution, the Early Republic & Jacksonian Era, Virginia & the Old South, and Civil War & Reconstruction
  • lead research & historiography seminars at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • teach public history courses, including museum studies

Instructor, The World of James Monroe                                                           Spring 2013, 2016
University of Mary Washington

  • Designed course for credit in History, American Studies, and Historic Preservation
  • Cultural history of the early American republic using objects from the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library

Instructor, Cultural History of Early America                                                       Fall 2014
George Washington University

  • Problem-based sophomore/junior level course in which students read and analyze scholarly articles
  • Lecture course with 120 students; supervised four teaching assistants

Instructor, US in the World to 1865                                                               Summer 2010
University of Pennsylvania

  • Designed and taught an online version of the first half of the US history survey

Teaching Assistant, Department of History                                                      2008-2009
University of Pennsylvania

  • Taught US in the World to 1865, US in the World since 1865, and History of Africa, 1800-present
  • Developed lessons for and led weekly discussion sections
  • Participated in design of evaluation materials and graded exams and essays

Qualified to teach/examination fields: American History to 1877, Gender in Early America, Historical Anthropology

Professional Service

Co-Chair, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee                                  2021
Society for Historians of the Early American Republic

Member, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee                                   2021
Marymount University

Member, Liberal Arts Core Strategic Plan Committee                              2019-2020
Marymount University

Member, Organizing Committee                                                                   2018-2019
Virginia Consortium of Early Americanists

Grant Reviewer                                                                                                  2016
National Historical Public Records Commission

Member, Working Group II                                                                              2016
Congressional Commission on the National Women’s History Museum

Graduate Representative                                                                                   2011-2012
Penn Library Committee on Graduate Research

Works-in-Progress Series Coordinator                                                           2010-2011
McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Graduate Advisor                                                                                 Spring 2010 & 2011
McNeil Center for Early American Studies Undergraduate Workshop

Workshop Organizer                                                                                                  2009
Digital Humanities workshop for faculty and grad students
Department of History, University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Student Organization Co-Chair                                                     2008-2009
Department of History

Conference Organizer                                                                                                2007
Material Culture Forum Conference on New Media & Museums

Board Member                                                                                                     2005-2007
Smithsonian Material Culture Forum

Other Professional Experience

Consulting Curator                                                                                          Fall 2021
Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Research Consultant                                                                       May 2021 to present
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Curatorial Research Associate                                                             May-August 2011
Museum of the American Revolution

Digital Humanities Consultant                                                                        2007-2008
University of Pennsylvania Schoenberg Center for
Electronic Text Initiatives

Scholarly Publications and Programs Manager                                             2006-2007
Smithsonian Institution, Freer and Sackler Galleries

New Media Content Producer                                                                           2005-2006
Smithsonian Institution, American Art Museum

Fellowships and Research Appointments

NEH Public Scholar grant                                                                                  2021-2022
National Endowment for the Humanities

Hiter Harris III Rising Star Award                                                                         2021
Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges

Research Fellow                                                                                                      2019-2020
Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

Georgian Papers Programme Fellowship                                                           2018

Omohundro Institute for Early American History & Culture

Andrew W. Mellon Fellow                                                                                     2016
Virginia Historical Society

Research Fellow                                                                                                      2015
Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

Research Associate                                                                                             2010-2012
McNeil Center for Early American Studies

Quinn Foundation Fellow                                                                                 2011-2012
Competitively awarded completion fellowship
University of Pennsylvania

Annenberg History Fellow                                                                                 2010-2011
University of Pennsylvania

Lord Baltimore Short-Term Fellowship                                                                   2010
Maryland Historical Society

Pew Presidential Fellowship                                                                                      2009
Summer research and travel grant from University of Pennsylvania

Andrew W. Mellon Short-Term Fellowship                                                            2009
Research fellowship at Library Company of Philadelphia and
Historical Society of Pennsylvania for dissertation research

Presidential Prize Research Fellowship                                                                   2008
Summer research and travel grant from University of Pennsylvania

Benjamin Franklin Fellowship                                                                         2007-2010
University of Pennsylvania graduate fellowship

American Studies Graduate Fellowship                                                          2004-2005
George Washington University

Certification in editing historical documents from Association of Documentary Editing and the NHPRC

Certificate in College and University Teaching, University of Pennsylvania

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