William S. McFeely, the Abraham Baldwin Professor of the Humanities emeritus at the University of Georgia, has had a long career investigating many disparate elements of American history. His work has been primarily in the field of African American history, but he has ranged far afield. His most recent project was a study of Thomas Eakins, the great nineteenth-century painter.
While at the Radcliffe Institute, McFeely will study two fascinating marriages: those of Henry and Clover Adams and Clarence and Ada King. The Adamses were a couple much in the public eye; the Kings’ marriage was secret, presumably because he was white and she black.
Long a distinguished teacher of American history, McFeely was awarded the Pulitzer and Francis Parkman prizes for Grant: A Biography (W. W. Norton, 1981) and the Lincoln Prize for Frederick Douglass (W. W. Norton, 1991). He is the author, too, of Proximity to Death (W. W. Norton, 1999), Sapelo’s People: A Long Walk into Freedom (W. W. Norton, 1994), Yankee Stepfather: General O. O. Howard and the Freedmen (W. W. Norton, 1983), and Portrait: The Life of Thomas Eakins (W. W. Norton, forthcoming in 2006).