GHS Selects Inaugural Class Of Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows

May 3, 2021, Atlanta, Georgia – The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) announced today that Tracy Barnett, University of Georgia; Lewis Eliot, University of South Carolina; and Dawn Wiley, University of Alabama, have been named to the inaugural class of Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows at the Georgia Historical Society. The Research Fellows Program, part of the larger Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program, honors Vince Dooley for his lifelong commitment to history and higher education. As a longtime member and Chairman Emeritus of the Georgia Historical Society’s Board of Curators, Coach Dooley has demonstrated his strong belief in and support of the mission of the Georgia Historical Society as a nationally recognized research and educational institution.

The Research Fellows Program is designed to mentor the next generation of historians by giving younger scholars the opportunity to conduct research for a specific period of time in the vast collection of primary sources at the Georgia Historical Society Research Center. The research is expected to lead to a major piece of scholarly work, such as a dissertation, a book, an article in a refereed scholarly journal, a chapter in an edited collection, or an academic paper presented at a scholarly conference.

“I am very pleased to announce that we have selected three distinguished scholars for the inaugural class of Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “We had a very competitive field of applicants, and these three were at the top of the field. More importantly, they fulfill the mission of the Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows Program in that they are young scholars just starting their careers in the profession, all of them highly recommended by experts in history, and all doing important cutting-edge work that should establish them in the field.”

Tracy Barnett is a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia working with economic historian Stephen Mihm. She received her BA in history from Millersville University in Pennsylvania, and her MA in history from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is writing a dissertation on gun ownership in the South from 1850-1877 and will be researching in a number of manuscripts in the GHS Research Center, examining gun ownership and sales, hunting, and westward migration.

Lewis Eliot will graduate with a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in May 2021. He is currently working on an article about abolitionism in Antebellum America that he will be submitting to the journal, Slavery & Abolition. Dr. Eliot is a native of Great Britain, having received his BA from the University of London, and his MA in history from Queen’s University, Belfast. Mr. Eliot is researching the Africa Squadron of the US Navy that patrolled the eastern Atlantic Ocean in search of ships illegally transporting enslaved Africans to the Americas. GHS holds numerous collections with material related to Georgians who served in the US and Confederate navies.

Dawn Wiley is a Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama writing a dissertation on Women in the Civil War South. She has a BA in political science and a MA in history from Georgia State University. At Alabama, she is not only working on her Ph.D. but is also assistant editor of the journal The Southern Historian. At GHS she will be researching collections containing letters between women on the home front and soldiers serving in the Confederate Army, and other collections that focus on women in antebellum Georgia.

The Dooley Distinguished Fellows Program was established by the GHS Board of Curators in 2017 and is supported by an endowment funded by friends and admirers of Vince Dooley. It is comprised of the Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellows and Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows.

For more information about the Dooley Distinguished Research Fellows please contact Patricia Meagher, GHS Director of Communications at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at


Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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