Pharsalia: An Environmental Biography of a Southern Plantation, 1780-1880

By Lynn A. Nelson | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In a slight departure from tradition, I want first to thank my family for making this work possible. My parents were both professors of history, and they raised me with a deep love of the discipline, the excitement of research, and the joys of teaching. My wife, Antoinette, has given unstinting love and support throughout this project. She and our children, Nathan and Beth, have been especially forgiving when Daddy goes to campus in the evening to work on “the Book.”

Within the limited means of a public university, Middle Tennessee State has been very supportive of this project. I have taken advantage of the Walker Library’s Interlibrary Loan office, as well as a Faculty Research and Creative Activity grant from the College of Graduate Studies. My chair, Thad Smith, has been consistently generous to me. My colleagues and my students have made Murfreesboro a wonderfully enriching place to work.

I have been helped along the way by many friends and intellectual mentors. At the University of Kansas, Peter Mancall and Donald Worster kindled my interest in early American environmental history. At the College of William and Mary, my dissertation director, Thad Tate, as well as Jim Whittenburg, Lorena Walsh, and Kevin Kelly, helped shape and mature my ideas. I owe an even bigger debt to friends from William and Mary’s graduate program, including Ben Goldberg, Sheila Phipps, Dave Rawson, Andy Shocket, and Bob Smith, as well as other members of the W&M mafia around the country, especially Tim Silver, and honorary members Warren Hofstra, Kenneth Koons, and Robert Mitchell. They

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