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 consists of records for over 12,000 people and is both a biographical dictionary and a platform for the study of groups, also known as prosopography. Readers will be able to move from the individual to the group and back again.

People of the Founding Era includes biographies from the documentary editions of the founding era such as the Papers of George Washington, the Adams Papers, the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, the Dolley Madison Digital Edition, and the Letters of Benjamin Rush. The intention is to include as many and various sources as possible.

PFE will allow scholars, students, teachers, and members of the general public to locate literally thousands of people who lived during the founding era. Not only will PFE provide basic biographical information about well-known leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Mercy Otis Warren, and Henry Knox, it will make available facts about the lesser known people of the era including county lawyers and farmers, artists and writers, merchants and store keepers, wives and daughters, and slaves and native Americans.

People of the Founding Era will expand our knowledge and our understanding of the founding era of the American nation. It will be published by the University of Virginia’s digital imprint ROTUNDA in May 2013.

Project Scholars

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

  • Jean Bauer
  • Elspeth Berry
  • Dane Cash
  • John Conroy
  • Chris Cornelius
  • Sarah Donelson
  • Julie Doxsey
  • Helen Dunn
  • Emma Earnst
  • Katherine Evans
  • Stephanie Finn
  • Timothy Finney
  • Leif Fredrickson
  • Andrew Garland
  • Bonnie Gill
  • Mahati Gollamudi
  • Evan Hall
  • Trevor Hiblar
  • William Kurtz
  • Amy Larrabee Cotz
  • Kristen Lochrie
  • Paul Mawyer
  • Gavin Murray-Miller
  • Alexandra Natoli
  • Steve Neumeister
  • Erin O’Hare
  • Olga Revenko
  • Paul Ringel
  • Emily Sandberg
  • Susan Severtson
  • Amanda Thompson
  • Greta von Kirchmann
  • Henry Wiencek, Jr.
  • Mary Mason Williams
  • 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.