Transforming a general idea for research into a book is a complex undertaking that requires assistance at each of its stages. This particular enterprise benefited from unusually generous assistance in a variety of forms. It is more a pleasure than a duty to acknowledge here those who have contributed to its fruition.
A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for Younger Humanists and an appointment as visiting research associate in the American Studies Program at The Smithsonian Institution gave me the time and access to sources necessary for the research. A sabbatical leave from Northern Illinois University provided the time for writing. To be able to devote one's time exclusively to research and writing is something of a luxury. To have three years freed from all other academic responsibilities is an extraordinary luxury that merits proportionate gratitude. So, too, does the sustained research support provided by the Council of Academic Deans, Northern Illinois University. That took the form of several summer grants and a series of research grants that always guaranteed adequate funds for travel, photocopying, and hiring research assistants. The Department of History, Northern Illinois University, provided financial support over a four-year period for coding the large quantities of subcounty data that were used in the analysis, and a research grant from the American Philosophical Society enabled me to collect and code the Boston and Massachusetts data.
To researchers who expend time and encounter frustration attending to the tasks involved in cleaning data files and processing routine jobs, the advantages that allegedly inhere in using a computer may seem chimerical. I was spared much of that drudgery by the services of extremely competent and dependable research assistants. Three of these, all of whom were at the time graduate students at Northern Illinois University, must be singled out: Curtiss M. Trout, Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science; Eugene Maczek, Departments of Political Science and Mathematics; and Stephen C. Baker, Department of Political Science. Through their expertise, their never failing dependability, their