Historian and award-winning author Andrew O’ Shaughnessy has been appointed as the first Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Visiting Professor at King’s College London to contribute to the Georgian Papers Programme.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President of Monticello, the Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and Professor of History at the University of Virginia.
He is the author of An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000). His most recent book, The Men Who Lost America. British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013) received eight national awards. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he is an editor of the Jeffersonian American Series of the University of Virginia Press and of The Journal of American History.
In the inaugural role, Professor O’ Shaughnessy will have early access to the extensive archive of King George III’s private papers as part of a major joint project with King’s and the Royal Archive.
Professor O’Shaughnessy said he was delighted to have been chosen and was keen to start work interpreting the papers held in the archive at the royal residence, Windsor Castle, England.
“I am thrilled to be the SAR Visiting Professor at King’s College. This will afford me the opportunity to review the papers in the royal archives at Windsor that relate to the American Revolution. It was previously difficult for researchers to gain access to the collection or to obtain detailed information about the contents. It contains not only the papers of George III but also Admiral Lord Samuel Hood who was the second-in-command at the Battle of the Chesapeake Capes (1781) in which the British defeat precluded the rescue of Lord Cornwallis and his army at Yorktown on the coast of Virginia. It is also an honor to be associate with King’s which has a long and impressive tradition of scholarship in imperial history, war studies and American history.”
The three-year visiting professorship has been funded by the National Society of the Sons of the Revolution and it is hoped the papers will reveal insights and give an increased understanding of the decades surrounding the American Revolution.
“SAR President General Tom Lawrence said he is very pleased that the SAR is teaming with King’s and the Royal Archives in this important project. We anticipate that many significant discoveries will result from this research that will further the scholarship of this historical period. We are also delighted that one of our most distinguished and well respected scholars, Professor Andrew O’Shaughnessy, will be our inaugural SAR Visiting Professor. He has been a frequent speaker at SAR events for years, has a well deserved reputation as one of our finest scholars, and he is the perfect choice.”
The SAR is an historical, educational, and patriotic, non-profit corporation whose members are direct descendants of the men and women who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783.
Visiting Professors will work on their own research and will be invited to lead an academic seminar or series of seminars on the interpretation of the archive in relation to their own work. They will also be available to staff of the Georgian Papers Programme for consultation about interpretation and dissemination.
Vice Principal (International) of King’s College London, Professor Joanna Newman said: ‘We are so pleased to have Professor O’ Shaughnessy join us on this fantastic project. We hope that his expertise and insight will be able to throw some light upon what is currently somewhat of of a gap in our understanding of a truly momentous historical period.’
In the post, Professor O’Shaughnessy will have also access to King’s College London libraries and those of the University of London as well as the British Library and The National Archives at Kew.