Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Bridenbaugh, Carl

Carl Bridenbaugh (1903-1992), professor of history, was born in Philadelphia on August 10, 1903. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1925, studied for two years at the University of Pennsylvania, and earned his A.M. degree in 1930 and his Ph.D. in 1936, both at Harvard. He was a member of the faculty of M.I.T. from 1927 to 1938, and was a Francis Parkman Fellow at Harvard in 1929-30. He came to Brown as associate professor of history in 1938. That year his book, Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America: 1625-1742, was awarded the Justin Winsor prize by the American Historical Association for the best book by a young scholar on the history of the Americas. He left Brown for naval service in 1942, and in in 1945 organized the Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Virginia, and became its first director. From 1950 to 1962 he was the Margaret Byrne professor of American history at the University of California in Berkeley. He was a State Department specialist on India in 1956, a fellow for the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 1956-58, and a Guggenheim fellow in 1958 and 1962. He returned to Brown as professor of history in 1962 and taught until his retirement. An authority of American colonial history, he continued to write after his retirement. He was the author of Rebels and Gentlemen: Philadelphia in the Age of Franklin, published in 1942. Cities in Revolt: Urban Life in America, 1743-1776, in 1955, Mitre and Sceptre: Transatlantic Faith, Ideas, Personalities, and Politics, in 1962, Vexed and Troubled Englishmen, 1590-1642, in 1968, Fat Mutton and Liberty of Conscience: Society in Rhode Island, 1636-1690, in 1974, The Spirit of ’76: the Growth of American Patriotism before Independence, in 1975, Jamestown, 1544-1699, in 1980, and Early Americans, in 1981. He was injured in an automobile accident in 1989, and resided at Hallworth House in Providence until his death on January 6, 1992.