Paul David Nelson (Dave) came from Patrick County, Virginia to attend Berea College, graduating in 1965. He went on to Duke University for a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. After a brief stint at Villanova University, he returned to Berea to teach in 1970, becoming Julian-Van Dusen professor in 1993. From 1992 to 2003 he served as chair of the History Department. Nelson won the Seabury Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1996 and retired from Berea College in 2005.
Nelson published eight biographies of Revolutionary War era military leaders, both British and American, and numerous articles. He has been a sought after contributor to biographical reference works (notably Oxford’s new Dictionary of National Biography). Apart from his legendary “dead generals,” he has written on Berea’s own history, and has served for years as Berea’s representative on the editorial board of the University Press of Kentucky.
Scope and Contents: These are the papers of Paul David Nelson, history professor at Berea College from 1970 to 2005. Materials consist primarily of Nelson’s correspondence on a variety of subjects regarding Berea College.