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Margaret Newell

Distinguished Scholar Award, 2020

Margaret Newell, professor in the Department of History, has received the Distinguished Scholar Award, which honors six Ohio State faculty members who demonstrate scholarly activity, research or other creative works representing exceptional achievements in their respective fields.

Newell’s expertise lies in the history of capitalism, the American Revolution, American Indian history and slavery. Her book, Brethren by Nature: New England Indians, Colonists, and the Origin of American Slavery, documents the enslavement of Indians in New England, challenging existing histories surrounding slavery, Native American experience and English colonization.

“When Margaret’s book appeared, it swept all the competition before it,” wrote one of Newell’s nominators. “Smart, deeply researched, ranging across archives in a variety of locations, her book is now the book on Indian slavery in colonial North America. It is a model of scholarship in its thoroughness and the intelligence of its approach.”

Brethren by Nature is particularly valuable because of Newell’s painstaking research into judicial records and assorted documents, enabling her to piece together family histories that are exceedingly revealing and would be otherwise entirely unavailable to us,” wrote another.

Recipients of the award receive a $20,000 research grant and a $3,000 honorarium to pursue their scholarly activity.

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