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Dwight Lowell Dumond
LSA Minutes

1895 - 1976

Professor Dwight Lowell Dumond passed away on May 30, 1976, after a short illness. Born in Kingston, Ohio, on August 27, 1895, Dumond received his B.A. from Baldwin Wallace College in 1920, his M.A. from Washington University in 1928, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1930. He later received honorary degrees from Baldwin Wallace and Northern Michigan University.

After teaching for a year at Ohio Wesleyan University, Dumond joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1930, and he remained at Michigan until his retirement in 1965. In 1939 he was the Common¬wealth Lecturer at University College, University of London, and after his retirement he taught at Howard University and at Colgate.

A stimulating teacher of both undergraduate and graduate students and the director of a substantial number of doctoral dissertations, Dumond became well known on the Michigan campus for his elegantly phrased, beautifully delivered, and sometimes emotion-filled lectures. In addition to hiq courses in the middle-period of American history, he pioneered in the teaching of twentieth-century American history, and he authored the first important text¬book in the field, Roosevelt to Roosevelt (New York, 1937). He played a large part in the activities of the university, which honored him in 1963 with its Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.

Taking a lively interest in the historical profession, Dumond served as a member and as chairman of the executive committee of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association (now the Organization of American Historians) and as the organization's president in 1948-1949. In 1943 he was a member of a joint committee of the American Historical Association and the National Council for the Social Studies that examined the teaching of history in the nation's schools and colleges. He also served on the board of editors of the Journal of Southern History.

Dumond first made his mark as a historian of the Civil War era with the publication of The Secession Movement (New York, 1931). He supplemented this important monograph with the publication of Southern Editorials on Secession (New York, 1931), consisting of 183 editorials selected from the files of seventy-two Southern newspapers. It was the first volume published by the American Historical Association on the Albert J. Beveridge Fund.

Dumond became best known as a historian of the antislavery movement. He discovered and edited a substantial amount of new material in this field, notably the letters of Theodore Dwight Weld, Angelina Grimke Weld, Sarah Grimke, and James Gillespie Birney, and he presented his interpretation of the movement in his Antislavery
Origins of the Civil War in the United States (Ann Arbor, 1939) and in the monumental Antislavery: The Crusade for Freedom in America (Ann

Arbor, 1961). The latter work, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and selected by the American Library Association as one of the notable books of 1961, was accompanied by A Bibliography of Anti¬slavery in America (Ann Arbor, 1961). Along with Gilbert Barnes, Dumond challenged the view that the antislavery movement centered in New England and contended that it was a band of Middle Westerners who were primarily responsible for converting the North to the anti¬slavery cause. Dumond's antislavery publications were cited in oral argument by counsel for the plaintiffs in the school segregation cases to supplement their written briefs.

Professor Dumond is survived by his wife, the former Irene M. Hettel, two children, two grandchildren, one great grandchild, and three sisters. He will be remembered with affection by those who knew him for the warmth of his personality, his courtly manners, his loyalty to his friends, his love of the outdoors, his considerable talents as a cook, and the vigor with which he expressed his opinions.

Sidney Fine