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John Munroe: Delaware Historian

November 13, 2012 – November 30, 2012

curated by
Jaime Margalotti

Dr. John A. Munroe (1914–2006) was a noted authority on Delaware history and a highly regarded educator who spent over 60 years on the faculty of the University of Delaware. The Wilmington native was also an alumnus, receiving his B.A. in 1936 and his M.A. in 1941. The University of Delaware named Dr. Munroe the H. Rodney Sharp Professor of History in 1962. Over the course of his career he also acted as head of the History Department, co–founded the Hagley Fellowship, and assisted with the establishment of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.

  1. John A. Munroe, graduation portrait from Wilmington High School, September 15, 1932
  2. Class schedule from John A. Munroe’s University of Delaware Freshman Handbook, 1932
  3. Dr. Munroe brought Delaware history not only to University students, but also to the general public. He produced articles for encyclopedias and magazines, including a regular column in the Wilmington Morning News called “The Delaware Story,” from 1959 to 1965. He also taught the University’s first televised course, “History and Government of Delaware,” in 1963. Originally broadcast by WHYY-TV of Wilmington, Delaware, the 15 part series of “History and Government of Delaware,” has been digitized by the University of Delaware Library.

  4. “The Delaware Story: Of July 4 and Delaware’s Part in the Declaration,” by John A. Munroe, Wilmington Morning News, July 4, 1959.
  5. John A. Munroe filming televised course, photograph by Richard Stewart, University of Delaware, ca. 1963.
  6. In addition to major works such as Federalist Delaware, Colonial Delaware, and The University of Delaware: A History, Dr. Munroe is best known for his extensive research on the life of prominent 19th century politician and businessman Louis McLane. McLane was a congressman, senator, secretary of the treasury, American ambassador to England, and president of both the Morris Canal and Banking Co. and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Prompted by his discovery of previously unknown and unstudied McLane family correspondence, Dr. Munroe spent several decades conducting research and published the acclaimed biography, Louis McLane: Federalist and Jacksonian, in 1973.

  7. Prospectus and outline for book on Louis McLane, ca. 1952.
  8. Munroe, John A. (John Andrew), 1914-2006, Louis McLane: Federalist and Jacksonian. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, c1973.
  9. In 1981, the University of Delaware awarded Dr. Munroe the Francis Allison Award, the University’s highest honor for faculty. In addition to earning the Outstanding Alumnus Award and a Medal of Distinction from the University, the State of Delaware has acknowledged his accomplishments with several honors, including the Governor’s Gold Medal for Service in 1973 and the Governor’s Heritage Award in 2003.

  10. Citation Conferring the Francis Alison Faculty Award on John A. Munroe, June 6, 1981.

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