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James Hart Merrell (born 1953, Minnesota) is the Lucy Maynard Salmon Professor of History at Vassar College. Professor Merrell is one of the leading scholars of early American history, and has written extensively on Native American history during the colonial era. Professor Merrell is one of only five historians to be awarded the Bancroft Prize twice.
He was raised in Minnesota. Merrell earned his undergraduate degree at Lawrence University and continued his studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He received his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1982.
Merrell was a Fellow at The Newberry Library Center for the History of the American Indian in Chicago and the Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has also received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has taught at Vassar College since 1984, except for the 1998-1999 academic year when he was a professor at Northwestern University.
- 1991 Guggenheim Fellowship 
- 1990 Frederick Jackson Turner Award, for The Indians' New World: Catawbas and their Neighbors from European Contact Through the Era of Removal
- The Merle Curti Award from the Organization of American Historians
- 1990; 2000 Bancroft Prize (twice) for The Indians' New World: Catawbas and Their Neighbors from European Contact through the Era of Removal, and Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier
- Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History for Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier
- The Indians' New World: Catawbas and Their Neighbors from European Contact through the Era of Removal. UNC Press. 1989. ISBN 978-0-8078-1832-9.
- Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier. W. W. Norton & Company. 2000. ISBN 978-0-393-31976-7.
- Peter C. Mancall, James Hart Merrell, ed. (2000). American encounters: natives and newcomers from European contact to Indian removal, 1500-1850. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-92375-0.
- Daniel K. Richter, James H. Merrell, ed. (2003). Beyond the covenant chain: the Iroquois and their neighbors in Indian North America, 1600-1800. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-02299-4.
- Roger L. Nichols, ed. (1986). "The Indians' New World: The Catawba Experience". The American Indian: past and present. Verlag für die Deutsche Wirtschaft AG. ISBN 978-0-394-35238-1.
- Philip D. Morgan, ed. (1993). "The Customes of Our Countrey: Indians and Colonialists in Early America". Diversity and unity in early North America. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-08798-8.
- Daniel Vickers, ed. (2003). "Indian History During the English Colonial Era". A companion to Colonial America. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-21011-5.