The John Winthrop Fellowship with a Focus on Colonial History

John Winthrop, a descendent of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor, John Winthrop, whose 1634 letter describing life in Boston is in the Gilder Lehrman Collection, will fund a $100,000 fellowship called The John Winthrop Fellowship with a Focus on Colonial History. The grant supports one Gilder Lehrman historian in the Gilder Lehrman Scholarly Fellowship Program per year in perpetuity.

In 2016, Winthrop, a resident of Charleston, South Carolina, established the $25,000 John Winthrop Endowed Scholarship at Winthrop University, which supports full-time students majoring in history. He is currently involved in plans to commemorate the 400th anniversary in 2030 of the arrival of the Arabella, the flagship of the Winthrop Fleet on which John Winthrop and other Puritan emigrants transported themselves and the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company from England to Salem between April 8 and June 12, 1630, thereby giving legal birth to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Winthrop cites his own experience in describing the importance of funding the study of Colonial history: “A number of people have asked me to tell them more about the first Governor of Massachusetts after seeing the statues in Cambridge, Boston, and the nation’s capital. The challenges of landing in a different place, the political attitudes that developed among the early settlers, and the culture that emerged at the time—all might be among the topics of interest.”

His fellowship will further scholarship in this important historical field of study.

About the Scholarly Fellowship Program

The Gilder Lehrman Institute provides annual short-term research fellowships in the amount of $3,000 each to doctoral candidates, college and university faculty at every rank, and independent scholars working in the field of American history. The fellowships support research at archives in New York City, including the Gilder Lehrman Collection, the New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center, the New-York Historical Society, and the Columbia University Libraries. Since 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute has awarded a total of 673 fellowships.

About John Winthrop

Winthrop is the oldest male with a direct eleven generation line to the governor John Winthrop. After graduating from Harvard, Winthrop joined the U.S. Navy and worked as a journalist. He went on to earn his M.B.A. at Columbia University and continued his journalism career — first at The Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., during the Kennedy administration, and later at The Boston Globe (with a series of op-ed pieces). Today he lives in Charleston with his wife, Libby, and runs his own financial services firm, John Winthrop & Company, Inc. Winthrop has served on over ten for-profit and over ten not-for-profit boards, including the American Farmland Trust in Washington, the Fresh Air Fund in New York, and the Board of Overseers at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. He also serves as an independent trustee for mutual funds in Montreal, New York, and Boston.