White woman with shoulder length brown hair. Red shirt and red lips.

Alexi Garrett

Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and University of Virginia Press Post-Doctoral Fellow at Iona College, 2020-2022

Field & Specialties

Early American Republic
Women and gender
Social history
Business history


Ph.D., History, University of Virginia, 2020
M.A., History, University of Virginia, 2016
B.A., History, English, Women's Studies, St. Olaf College, 2012


My dissertation, "Elite Single Women and the Business of Slavery in Virginia, 1780-1870," analyzed how feme sole businesswomen managed their slave-manned enterprises in revolutionary and early national Virginia. I grew up in Iowa City, and received my B.A. in History, English, and Women’s Studies from St. Olaf College. Before graduate school, I worked for Oxford University Press and Macmillan Learning in New York City, and even dug up a Spanish silver coin at Jamestown.


Book Reviews
Review of Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America by Catherine E. Kelly, Journal of History and Cultures, Issue 8 (2018)

Other Publications
“Jefferson’s Competition in the Richmond Nail Selling Business,” blog post for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, forthcoming

How Widowhood Changed Martha Washington’s Life,” Mount Vernon Magazine, Spring 2020 issue

From Feme Sole to Feme Covert: The Case of Anna Coles Payne Causten,” The Dolley Madison Digital Edition, ed. Holly C. Shulman, University of Virginia Press (2019)

"Pious Widow, Loving Mother, Slave Owner, Salt Mine Manager, and Patrick Henry's Beloved Sister: A Brief History of Annie Henry Christian" News from Red Hill, The Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation (2019)

Selected collections relating to Canada,” manuscript guide for Colonial North American Project, Harvard Library (2018)

Feme sole” entry, “Daily Life through History” series, The World of Antebellum America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia, ed. Alexandra Kindell, ABC-CLIO, LLC. (2018)


Twitter: @AlexiGarrett 


I have given papers at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Southern Historical Association, the New-York Historical Society, the Business History Conference doctoral colloquium, and UVA's Early American Seminar.

Awards & Honors

All-University Graduate Teaching Award, University of Virginia Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, 2019 

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Council Research Grant, University of Virginia (2020)

University of Virginia Arts & Sciences Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2019) 

Research Fellowship, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington (2019)

Adam Smith Fellowship, Mercatus Center, George Mason University (2019)

Humane Studies Fellowship, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University (2019)

Short-Term Fellowship, Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (2019)

Dumas Malone Graduate Research Fellowship, Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Virginia (2018)

Public Humanities Fellowship, South Atlantic Humanities Center, Virginia Foundation for Humanities (2018)

Red Hill Fellow, Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation ($25,000) (2017)

Alfred D. Chandler Jr. Travel Fellowship, Harvard Business School (2017)

Short-Term Fellow, Program in Early American Economy and Society, Library Company of Philadelphia (2017)

Exploratory Research Grant, Hagley Museum and Library (2017)

Filson Fellowship, The Filson Historical Society (2017)

Sydney and Frances Lewis Fellowship in Gender and Women’s Studies, Virginia Historical Society (2017)

Doctoral Colloquium, Business History Conference, Denver, CO (2017)

History of Capitalism Summer Camp, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (2016)

CNA-UELAC Fellowship in Loyalist Studies, Colonial North American Project, Harvard University (2016)

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Summer Research Award, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia (2016 & 2017) 

Summer Research/Travel Funding, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia (2015 - 2018)

Courses Taught


HIUS 2001: America to 1865 (Summer 2019)

Graduate Teaching Assistant

HIEU 3141: Anglo-Saxon England (Spring 2020)
HIUS 3031: The Era of the American Revolution (Spring 2018)
HIEA 2031: Modern China (Fall 2016)
WGS 2100: Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016)

Media Appearances

My All-University Teaching Award featured in UVA Today article “There’s Something That Makes These Graduate Instructors Special” (May 21, 2020)

Interviewed for Conversations at the Washington Library podcast, episode entitled “Accounting for Women in the Business of Slavery with Alexi Garrett” (Jan. 16, 2020) 

Interviewed for “Whiskey Rebellion” podcast (episode 105) to discuss my dissertation research and take on Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” rally and protest of Aug. 12, 2017

Interviewed for Hagley Museum and Library’s “Stories from the Stacks” podcast, episode entitled “The Lost History of Female Business Owners in the 19th Century” 

Interviewed by Nuala McGovern on BBC World Service’s “Outside Source” radio show to offer historical take on Charlottesville’s “Unite the Right” rally and protest of Aug. 12, 2017