I date the beginning of this inquiry to a conversation with the late Lewis Anthony Dexter, a political scientist whose lively and unconventional intelligence generated many more ideas than he could possibly use himself. I regret that he is not here to argue with me about my findings.
Many people and institutions have helped me in my effort to trace the path of institutional change. I am grateful to the American Philosophical Society for a grant that helped to finance some of my visits to libraries and archival collections. The librarians and archivists who staffed them were unfailingly generous with their time, information, and materials. I am indebted to their profession at large, and most especially to a handful of specialists whose suggestions and assistance helped to guide a researcher who could easily have lost his way tunneling through boxes of account books, invoices, and canceled checks. They include James D. Anderson and George W. Bain at Ohio University; Patrick Anzelc and Steven Granger at the Catholic archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Ruth Ellen Bauer and Dallas Lindgren at the Minnesota Historical Society; Doris Hambacher at the Ohio Historical Society; David J. Klaassen at the Social Welfare History Archives of the University of Minnesota; Diana Lachatanere at the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Brenda Lawson at the Massachusetts Historical Society; David M. Ment at