Filson Fellowships: Aaron Astor and Anne Marshall

By Jennifer Reiss Hannah
Public Relations Assistant

Aaron AstorAstor’s dissertation, “Dubious Victors: Emancipation and Reconstruction in the Border States, 1860-1872,” examines the meaning of politics at the local level within specific rural counties of four Union border states: Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland and Delaware. A doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, Astor relied on Filson manuscripts in his study of central Kentucky’s bluegrass region, consulting the Grigsby Family Papers, the Rosa Jeffrey Papers, and the Bullitt Family Papers, in addition to other collections. Astor praised The Filson’s card catalog as “tremendously detailed and tremendously helpful because it is so detailed,” a reiteration of similar comments from previous Filson Fellows.

Marshall, a doctoral candidate from the University of Georgia, also consulted the Bullitt Family Papers for her dissertation, tentatively entitled “Lost Cause, Gained Identity: Historical Memory and the Creation of a Confederate Kentucky.” Her intention of this project is to examine Anne Marshall how Kentuckians used the Civil War to identify themselves following the war and what major factors caused Kentuckians to remember the war in certain ways. Marshall plans to show how white Kentuckians created a Lost Cause narrative, which they integrated into the state, although the majority of the state’s citizens did not support secession from the Union.

In addition to the Bullitt collection, Marshall also researched other post-war collections of prominent Louisville and Kentucky families, including the Dudley Family papers and the Yandell Family Papers. Marshall, a presenter at The Filson Institute’s Spring 2003 Academic Conference, noted that her visit to The Filson helped to shape her look at memorial activity, especially Union memorial activity.

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