Robert Paquette receiving the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Prize for Academic Freedom, 2014

Robert L. Paquette

Robert L. Paquette received his B. A. cum laude in 1973 from Bowling Green State University; he received his Ph. D. with honors in 1982 from the University of Rochester.  He has published extensively on the history of slavery. His Sugar Is Made with Blood (Wesleyan University Press, 1988) won the Elsa Goveia Prize, given every three years by the Association of Caribbean Historians for the best book in Caribbean history. His essay “Of Facts and Fables: New Light on the Denmark Vesey Affair” (co-authored with Douglas Egerton) won the Malcolm C. Clark Award, given by the South Carolina Historical Society. He has co-edited (with Stanley Engerman) The Lesser Antilles in the Age of European Expansion (University Press of Florida, 1996);  (with Louis A. Ferleger) Slavery, Secession, and Southern History (University Press of Virginia, 2000); (with Stanley Engerman and Seymour Drescher) Slavery (Oxford University Press, 2001); (with Mark M. Smith) The Oxford Handbook of Slavery in the Americas (Oxford University Press, 2010); (with Rebecca J. Fox) “Unbought Grace”:  An Elizabeth Fox-Genovese Reader” (University of South Carolina Press, 2011); (with Douglas Egerton) The Denmark Vesey Affair: A Documentary History (University Press of Florida, 2017), which received a Choice Outstanding Title Award.   In 2005, Paquette returned to his alma mater to receive the Mary Young Award for distinguished achievement.

Paquette has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, American Historical Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, VERITAS, Thomas W. Smith Foundation, Watson-Brown Foundation, Armstrong Foundation, Apgar Foundation, Jack Miller Center, and Charles G. Koch Foundation. In 2008, President George W. Bush forwarded Paquette’s nomination to the Senate for a seat on the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2012, the American Freedom Alliance awarded him the Heroes of Conscience Award. In 2014, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and the American Conservative Union Foundation awarded him the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Prize for Academic Freedom.

Paquette taught at Hamilton College for thirty-seven years, from 1981 to 2018. He held the Publius Virgilius Rogers Chair in American History for seventeen years until January 2011, when he resigned the title in protest of the academic direction of the College.

He co-founded the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in 2007 with Douglas Ambrose and James Bradfield.