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Grant number: FT-61647-14

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Randall Fuller
University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK 74104-9700)

When Darwin Came To America: The Influence of 'On the Origins of Species' before the Civil War

In the winter of 1859-60, a single copy of Charles Darwin's "On the Origins of Species" was read and discussed by five extraordinary American intellectuals: Asa Gray, the Harvard botanist who led the fight for Darwin's theory in America; Charles Loring Brace, the minister and child welfare reformer who used Darwin's book in his relentless crusade against slavery; Franklin Sanborn, a key supporter of John Brown; Bronson Alcott, the philosopher and father of Louisa May, who vehemently resisted Darwin's insights as a threat to transcendental idealism; and Henry David Thoreau, who used Darwin's theory to redirect his life's work. My book project, "When Darwin Came to America," is the biography of Darwin's idea as it was encountered by this group of transcendental intellectuals during a single year: 1860.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
American Literature; History of Science; U.S. History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2014 – 6/30/2014