A Plea to the NEH for the Eugene Field House

For many years I have served on the board of the Eugene Field House Foundation, which preserves an important part of America’s literary and political history. The foundation is now seeking to expand its facilities so as to make the historic house more accessible to visitors, the archives available to scholars, and the collections open to all who would like to view them. As part of that project, I have written to the National Endowment for the Humanities. This is my letter.

Professor Ragen’s Letter to the NEH.

There is more information on the Eugene Field House on this site and on its own web pages. The foundation will make very good use of any support it receives.


The Eugene Field House was where Roswell Field lived when he practiced law and represented Dred Scott in his bid for freedom and where the poet Eugene Field spent some of his childhood. It is all that remains of what was an impressive row of houses. While there are other fascinating historic houses in St. Louis, only the Field House recalls the world of the city’s professional middle class in the days when St. Louis was becoming a center of the nation’s culture, politics, and economic progress.