Professor William Stinchcombe dies
William C. Stinchcombe, professor emeritus of history at the
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, passed away on Wednesday,
June 11, 2014. He joined the faculty as
an assistant professor in 1967, was named associate professor in 1971, full professor
in 1979, and professor emeritus in 2009. He worked at Syracuse University for almost his
entire academic career.
He was a past chairman of the history department and
director of the graduate program in history and also in international relations. He was a friend and mentor to many students,
colleagues, graduate students, and staff across the University. Many of his former PhD students are now active
themselves in teaching and research in American history.
Stinchcombe’s research focused on 18th century
diplomatic history, especially relationships between the U.S., France, and Great
Britain. He taught classes and seminars
on diverse topics ranging from modern diplomacy and the Cold War, and in the
Syracuse abroad program in London, U.K. He
was particularly interested in contemporary politics, diplomacy, and war. Toward the end of his career, he taught an
especially popular seminar on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Students considered him a very provocative and
highly stimulating lecturer.
His publications included The American Revolution and the French Alliance, the winner of the
Gilbert Chinard Prize, as well as The XYZ
Affair. He also was the editor of The Papers of John Marshall, Vol III. His
final research project was editing the diaries of an 18th century
merchant, Nathaniel Cutting, with a focus on the slave trade.
Stinchcombe received a PhD from the University of Michigan
in 1967, and before that a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State
University. He was the recipient of
several research grants and awards, including support from the American
Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for Humanities research, and the
American Council of Learned Societies.
A private celebration of Stinchcombe’s life is
planned for a later date. In lieu of
flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Nature Conservancy