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Kellogg, Louise Phelps (1862–1942) - U.S. Frontier History

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Louise Phelps Kellogg, once described as “the best-known woman historian in the West” by the American Historical Association, was born to Mary Isabella (Belle) Phelps and Amherst Willoughby Kellogg, an insurance executive, on May 12, 1862, in Milwaukee. She attended school in Evanston, Illinois, and Dearborn Seminary in Chicago. She graduated from Milwaukee College in 1882 and taught at a Milwaukee girls school afterwards.

In 1895 Kellogg approached Frederick Jackson Turner about becoming a historian, and he accepted her as his student at the University of Wisconsin. She graduated with honors in 1897 and received one of the university’s few graduate scholarships, serving as Turner’s assistant. She also won the Women’s Education Association of Boston fellowship for second year graduate work at the London School of History and Economics and the Sorbonne in Paris. Her first article, “Sur la translation des Restes de Voltaire au Panthéon, le ll Juillet 1791,” was published in La Révolution Françcaise while she was in Paris.

In 1899 Kellogg returned to the University of Wisconsin, where she became an assistant in ancient and medieval history and worked on her dissertation. The American Colonial Charter: A Study of English Administration in Relation Thereto, Chiefly After 1688 was published by the American Historical Association in 1899 and was awarded the Justin Winsor Prize. Kellogg became a university fellow the next year and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1901. She was appointed to a research post in the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. She began working with Reuben Gold Thwaites on the fifteen-volume Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1904–1905) and the thirty-volume Early Western Travels, 1748–1846 (1904–1907). She also worked on five volumes of the State Historical Society’s Collections (1902–1911). During the course of this work, Kellogg and Thwaites became partners in 1905 and edited the first volume of the series on the American Revolution in the Ohio valley, Documentary History of Dunmore’s War, 1774 . They published the second volume, Revolution on the Upper Ohio, 1775–1777 , in 1908, and Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio, 1777–1778 in 1912. In 1913 Thwaites died unexpectedly, and Kellogg continued with their work. In 1915 she prepared Index to Volumes I-XX of the Wisconsin Historical Collections , published as a separate volume in the series. In 1916 Frontier Advance on the Upper Ohio, 1778–1779 was published, followed by Frontier Retreat on the Upper Ohio, 1779–1781 in 1917. In 1925 The French Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest was published, and in 1935 The British Regime in Wisconsin and the Northwest came out.

In addition to her prolific work on the series, Louise Kellogg became a master indexer, often indexing works of other scholars. She was the first woman to be president of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (now Organization of American Historians), in 1930; was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the League of Women Voters, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews; and was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Britain. She contributed forty-five short subject entries to the Dictionary of American History and seventy-three biographical sketches to the Dictionary of American Biography . She wrote Early Narratives of the Northwest, 1634–1699 as part of the American Historical Association nineteen-volume project Original Narratives of Early American History , and in 1923 edited a two-volume Caxton Club edition of Charlevoix’s Journal of a Voyage to North America . In 1935 the Wisconsin Archaeological Society awarded her the Lapham Medal, and in 1937 Marquette University awarded her an honorary degree.

During her phenomenal career, Louise Kellogg suffered from continuing hearing loss and eventually was forced to carry a bulky hearing machine with her. In 1941, at age seventy-nine, Kellogg drove to historic Vincennes, Indiana, then to the meeting of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association in Lexington, Kentucky. She died the next year on July 11.

Kellogg, Will Keith - Overview, Personal Life, Chronology: Will Keith Kellogg, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact [next] [back] Kekulé, Friedrich August

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