Haskell Monroe’s Legacy

Haskell Monroe hands always move to emphasize his points

Haskell Monroe 

Born March 18, 1931, Haskell Monroe dedicated his life to education and the pursuit of historical knowledge. After graduating from Rice University with a Ph.D. in History in 1962, Monroe was hired as a professor at Texas A&M University. In 1980 he was named president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Seven years later, he became Chancellor of the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he continued to teach and engage with students until his retirement in 1997. He then returned to College Station, Texas, as Dean of Faculties Emeritus at Texas A&M until his death on November 13, 2017.

As part of his commitment to historical knowledge, Professor Monroe sought to reconstruct missing elements of Civil War history, specifically how ordinary people in the Confederacy experienced the war. He believed that everyday civilians and soldiers' stories deserved treatment equal to the extensive research on the Civil War’s political and military history. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, he and his wife, Joann ("Jo"), traveled the United States in pursuit of primary sources relating to the social history of the Civil War-era South. Before his death in 2017, Professor and Mrs. Monroe amassed a bibliography and archival collection exceeding 2,000 pieces of primary source material, much of which is included in this collection.

In 2018, Jo Monroe presented their extensive collection to the University of Missouri Libraries. Realizing the collection's great potential, the Libraries assigned Rachel Brekhus to work in partnership with Jay Sexton of the University of Missouri History Department and Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy. With funding from Mrs. Monroe, they created the Haskell Monroe Graduate Fellowship in Civil War-era history, in which a graduate researcher would digitize the Monroe collection, thus making its rich contents available to researchers, educators, students, and the wider public. Brendon Floyd became the inaugural Haskell Monroe Graduate Fellow in 2019 and continues to summarize, classify, and publish the Monroes' vast bibliography of ordinary social life in the Confederate States of America.


Haskell Monroe’s Legacy