Papers of Andrew Jackson Project Receives National Grant

A UT project dedicated to transcribing and publishing President Andrew Jackson’s entire written record has received a financial boost to continue its mission.

The Papers of Andrew Jackson has been awarded a three-year, $275,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

It’s one of 212 humanities projects that received grants nationwide. Others include an exhibition on Mexican modern art from 1910 to 1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the excavation of the seventeenth-century Plymouth Colony settlement in Massachusetts, and publication of the personal papers of Martin Luther King Jr. dating from the campaign to desegregate Birmingham to the historic 1963 March on Washington.

“It is gratifying to us that the NEH recognizes the civic importance, not merely the academic or scholarly importance, of the work we do,” said Dan Feller, UT professor of history and editor and director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson.

UT Press has published nine volumes of the Jackson papers, covering 1770 through 1831. Feller and colleagues Laura-Eve Moss and Tom Coens, both research associate professors of history, have assembled volume 10, which covers 1832. It is currently with UT Press. Volumes 11 and 12, which will cover 1833 and 1834, respectively, will follow.

“The years 1832 to 1834 are the apex and centerpiece of Jackson’s presidency,” Feller said. “This money is going to enable us to undertake and complete the heart of the whole project.”

A high proportion of what Andrew Jackson is famous for and controversial about happened in those three years, Feller said, including the veto and destruction of the Bank of U.S. and South Carolina’s nullification of the tariff law, which taxed imports and provided revenue.

“Some of the events of Jackson’s administration, including Indian removal, are not well understood,” Feller said. “It’s our mission to put the actual historical record of what happened in front of people. An informed citizenry is a good thing. Many of the decisions we make today are predicated on our knowledge of what happened in the past. It’s to everyone’s advantage that we act on good information instead of bad. The mission of our project is to provide the definitive accurate information.”

The Papers of Andrew Jackson is now available in a fully searchable and annotated database within The American Founding Era Collection, a digital publication of the University of Virginia Press.

CONTACT:

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993, lalapo@utk.edu)

Dan Feller (865-974-0660, dfeller@utk.edu)