NORTHAMPTON - Stanley M. Elkins, 88, of Northampton, died Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, at Linda Manor in Leeds.
Born April 27, 1925, in Boston, the son of Frank and Frances (Reiner) Elkins.
Stanley graduated from Boston English High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943, where he served in the 362nd Infantry Regiment in Italy. After the war, Stanley attended Harvard University on the G.I. Bill and married Dorothy Adele Lamken in 1947. He graduated from Harvard in 1949 and received a master's and a doctorate in american history from Columbia University, where he studied with historian Richard Hofstadter.
He and fellow graduate student Eric McKitrick received a joint appointment as assistant professors of history at the University of Chicago, where they taught from 1955 to 1960. In 1959, Stanley's doctoral dissertation, "Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life", was published by the University of Chicago Press. His book received widespread attention from scholars, politicians, and students, and is considered a seminal work on the subject of slavery in the United States. Stanley was hired by Smith College in 1960, became the Sydenham Clark Parsons Professor of History in 1969, and continued his career there until his retirement in 1993.
In 1993 the Oxford University Press published "The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic", 1788-1800, which Stanley and Eric McKitrick coauthored over a 30 year period. The Age of Federalism received the Bancroft Prize in 1994 and the Society of Cincinnati Book Prize in 1995.
Stanley and his wife Dorothy were longtime members of B'nai Israel Congregation, and Stanley was an active participant in Historic Northampton, serving on its board of trustees.
Predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Dorothy, Stanley is survived by their children Susan Elkins and husband Jack Winerock of Lawrence, Kan., Reuven Elkins and wife Yehudis of Brooklyn, N.Y., Barbara Elkins and husband Timothy Brown of Lawrenceville, N.J., and Sara Elkins of Northampton. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 1:30 p.m. at B'nai Israel Congregation, 253 Prospect St., Northampton, and internment will follow at B'nai Israel Cemetery, 476 North King St., Hatfield, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Smith College, Gift Accounting Unit, 33 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01063, with contributions directed to the American Studies program; B'nai Israel Congregation, 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA 01060; Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060; or to a charitable organization of your choice.
For further information or directions, please visit ascherzimmerman.com.
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Ascher Zimmerman Funeral Home
44 Sumner Avenue Springfield, MA 01108
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Sept. 17, 2013