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(Many people have wondered how to pronounce Mr. Bellesiles's name. It's ba-leale ..."leale" rhymes with feel.)

Chronology of Events

On April 19, 2002, two months after Emory announced it had launched a formal investigation of Mr. Bellesiles's book, Arming America, the school newspaper, the Emory Wheel, called on the university to complete its work quickly, noting that"by remaining silent on the issue in the face of national controversy, Emory appears to be implicitly supporting Bellesiles.""If Emory has already completed its investigation," the paper's editorial continued,"it has an unquestionable duty to its students to release its findings. And if it has not yet, the University should reach a verdict before he sets foot in the classroom. Whatever the final outcome, Emory must eventually participate in the national dialogue surrounding Bellesiles' research, either to support or denounce him." The editorial included this stinging accusation:"an overwhelming amount of evidence has surfaced to suggest that Bellesiles was indeed guilty to some degree of fraud."

(Note: Mr. Bellesiles is currently a fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago. He is scheduled to return to Emory in the fall.)

On April 24 National Review, which published several highly critical articles about Mr. Bellesiles in the fall, reported that Columbia University's Bancroft committee was considering taking away the Bancroft Prize, which was awarded to Arming Americain 2001. The magazine cited Roger Lane as a source; Lane himself was a winner of the Bancroft Prize. Doubt was cast on the story the next day when Eric Foner told the magazine,"I've heard nothing about Columbia rescinding the prize. The University's trustees would have to do it, not the Bancroft Committee."

Another report by National Review was more portentous; the magazine reported that Bellesiles's Newberry fellowship may be in question:

The National Endowment for the Humanities has sent a letter to the Newberry Library in Chicago which raises serious questions about the Library's $30,000 grant to Michael Bellesiles for the second book he is writing on guns. In a letter to Dr. James Grossman, director of the Newberry Library, the NEH asks the Newberry to provide a written notice of the institution's"procedures for handling alleged cases of academic misconduct and fraud." If the Newberry's response fails to satisfy the NEH's concerns, officials there are prepared to take any"necessary and appropriate actions including but not limited to removing the NEH name from the Newberry Fellowship to Michael Bellesiles."
On April 25 Andrew Ackerman, the Wheel's assistant news editor, reported that Mr. Bellesiles"suggested this week that one of his main critics fabricated e-mails in his name." The charge referred to a controversy first reported by History News Network on April 15, when Mr. Bellesiles denied writing certain emails to critic James Lindgren. According to the Wheel, Mr. Bellesiles this week went further, charging Lindgren with manufacturing the emails:"I don't know how to break this to you, but anyone can print up anything and say I received this e-mail." Bellesiles added:"Shouldn't you go by what I say I said rather than what someone else asserts?"

In a separate article, the paper charged that"Bellesiles may have lied to the Wheel" about the emails, including a