Sarah Crabtree, NEH Fellow

Sarah Crabtree, Assistant Professor of History at San Francisco State University, spent five months researching as a JCB Fellow funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her project Whaler, Traitor, Coward, Spy!: William Rotch, the Quaker Ethic & the Spirit of Capitalism tells the story of a man accused of treason four times by three different countries over two decades. Crabtree worked with the JCB's Brown Family Business Papers, a unique manuscript collection of increasing value to scholars from across the disciplines. Rotch’s business brought him into contact, and conflict, with the merchants of Providence and Newport and letters in this collection reveal a complex and contentious relationship.  

"Not only does the JCB’s rich collection allow me to put Rotch in the wider context of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, but the Library’s most valuable asset – the vibrant scholarly community it gathers together – has helped me make connections that will deepen and broaden my analysis," said Crabtree.