Francis "Fritz" Jennings (1918 – November 17, 2000) was an American historian, best known for his works on the colonial history of the United States. He taught at Cedar Crest College from 1968 to 1976, and at the Moore College of Art from 1966 to 1968.[1]


Early life and education

Jennings was born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania in 1918, just before the close of World War I. He grew up in a poor coal-mining town and enrolled at Temple University in the mid-1930s.[1] After graduating, he stayed in Philadelphia and taught high school English and social studies. He then married Joan Woollcott, and started a family.[1]

After the outbreak of World War II, Jennings served in the United States Army for four years, as the chief clerk of a headquarters unit stationed in England. After returning home from the war, earned a master's degree in education and two more children were born.[1]

Jennings earned a PhD in 1965.[1]


Jennings was interested in American historiography and the influence of ideology in the case of Francis Parkman.[2] In 1956, he purchased a used set of his works. In his reading of Parkman he argued it contained a heavy strain of American exceptionalism or ideology and revisited Parkman's sources. The Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture published his own work on colonial Indian relationships offered by Parkman in the Watergate-era titled Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest.[3]

Later life and death

Jennings spent his last years as the Senior Research Fellow at the Newberry Library of Chicago and earlier as the director of the Newberry Library's D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian History. He died on November 17, 2000, after a long illness.[1]


Selected works

Articles and essays