Virginia History Series
Historical Hall of Fame: Douglass Greybill Adair (1912-1968) was an American historian and historiographer.
Douglass Greybill Adair (1912-1968) was an American historian and historiographer. He attended the University of the South,
Harvard University and Yale University where he earned the Ph.D. degree in 1943.
Dr. Adair taught at Princeton
University, the College of William and Mary and the Claremont Graduate School. He is partifularly noted for his work in searching
the authorship of disputed numbers of the Federalist Papers and his influential studies in the history and historiography of republicanism.
1943 Ph.D. dissertation, "The intellectual Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy," rejected the economic determinism associated with the
then-highly-influential historical work of Charles A. Beard. Its title is a direct response to the title of Beard's 1915 bookThe Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy; by contrast, Adair insisted that ideas derived from the framework of Western philosophy
had played a crucial role in the early development of the United States.
From 1944 through 1955, Adair was the leading spirit
in the launching, editing, and publication of the third series of the William and Mary Quarterly, which soon became the leading journal
in the field of early American history. Adair contributed many influential articles to the Quarterly, including his classic two-part
essay, "The Authorship of the Disputed Federalist Papers," and "The Tenth Federalist Revisited." He also wrote many book reviews,
showing his mastery of the craft of reviewing and setting a standard for the field.
In 2000, Adair's
dissertation was finally published as The Intellectual Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy: Republicanism, the Class Struggle,
and the Virtuous Farmer, which was edited by Mark E. Yellin