People of the Founding Era

People of the Founding Era: A Prosopographical Approach is now available as a public-beta release. Explore and let us know what you think!

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation since 2008, People of the Founding Era is a scholarly resource that features a biographical glossary combined with a group study (prosopography) of Americans born between 1713 (the end of Queen Anne’s War) and 1815 (the end of the Napoleonic Wars). It currently consists of 28,000 records, with projected expansion to 60,000 people. Readers will be able to explore records of individuals, their contemporaries, and the common threads that tie them together.

People of the Founding Era includes biographies from the documentary editions of the founding era including the Papers of George Washington, the Adams Family Papers, the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the Dolley Madison Digital Edition, the Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, the Papers of Alexander Hamilton, the Papers of James Madison, and The Letters of Benjamin Rush.

PFE will allow scholars, students, teachers, and members of the general public to access tens of thousands of individuals who were previously spread across the corpus of Founding Father letters. Not only will PFE provide connective records about well-known leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Mercy Otis Warren, and Henry Knox, it will make available lesser known details of the common people of the founding era, including county lawyers and farmers, artists and writers, merchants and store keepers, wives and daughters, and slaves and Native Americans.

Project Scholars

In addition to Documents Compass and Project Managers Martin Kane and Trevor Hiblar, PFE work has been carried out by the following dedicated team:

  • James Ambuske
  • Jean Bauer
  • Elspeth Berry
  • Adrian Brettle
  • Jessie Brunelle
  • Tom Butcher
  • Michael T. Caires
  • Dane Cash
  • John Conroy
  • Chris Cornelius
  • Sarah Donelson
  • Julie Doxsey
  • Helen Dunn
  • Emma Earnst
  • Jennifer Elliot
  • Katherine Evans
  • Stephanie Finn
  • Timothy Finney
  • Leif Fredrickson
  • Mary Mason Williams Foukal
  • Andrew Garland
  • Bonnie Gill
  • Mahati Gollamudi
  • Evan Hall
  • Stephanie Kingsley
  • William Kurtz
  • Amy Larrabee Cotz
  • Kristen Lochrie
  • Chris Martin
  • Paul Mawyer
  • Gavin Murray-Miller
  • Alexandra Natoli
  • Steve Neumeister
  • Lindsay O’Connor
  • Erin O’Hare
  • Olga Revenko
  • Paul Ringel
  • Holly Runde
  • Emily Sandberg
  • Greg Seib
  • Susan Severtson
  • Amanda Thompson
  • Greta Von Kirchmann
  • Henry Wiencek, Jr.
  • Alison Wood
  • Katherine Zantow
  • Michael Zielinski
  • Dataformat: Helen Langone and Stephen Perkins
  • UVA Press: Shannon Shiflett, David Sewell, and Mark Saunders

Project Sponsor

People of the Founding Era has been possible through generous sponsorship by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.