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Posted: 1/29/2002 4:43:05 PM EDT
Now even local county historical societies are smacking around Bellisides for sloppy scholarship. This is deeply amusing. I've got to think he's toast, an perpetrated one of the most spectacular cases of academic fraud in recent memory. Bellisides got caught referencing non-existent San Francisco probate data. He now says he found the data, in Contra Costa county. The problem is that all of the probate data he references is from Contra Costa, not San Francisco. He seems to think "data from somewhere in california" is good enough to confirm that he actually did the research he claims. Here's his note: [url]http://www.emory.edu/ACAD_EXCHANGE/2002/decjan/whatsnew.html[/url] Here's the local historical society tearing him a new one: [url]http://www.cocohistory.com/frm-news.html[/url] Based on checking his 26 pages of evidence against our records, we have reached the following conclusions, which are of course, subject to revision based on further investigation: Every identifiable estate in the 26 pages was a Contra Costa County estate, not a San Francisco County estate. Every identifiable decedent in the 26 pages was a Contra Costa County resident, not a San Francisco County resident. Every judge who signed orders in the 26 pages was a Contra Costa County judge, not a San Francisco County judge. The only clerk who signed an order in the 26 pages signed as "Clerk" of the "Probate Court Contra Costa County." Bellesiles makes reference to 1872 tax assessment records and includes a copy of one in the 26 pages. Its heading is: "Assessment List, County of Contra Costa, 1872-73." This is from a Contra Costa County taxpayer and taxing authority, not from San Francisco. ... Examining the 26 pages of Bellesiles' probate records that were supplied to us, it appears that Professor Bellesiles merely photocopied estate documents that contained the word "San Francisco" somewhere in them. ... Last, we cannot confirm that Professor Bellesiles did substantial research in our collection in 1993 (as he claims) or at any other time before his visit in January, 2002. We do not remember him visiting our collection before his recent visit. We have searched our log books and invoices for the years 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 and find no record for research fees or photocopies. Further, we are not cited or acknowledged in his book, something we always expect and receive. During Professor Bellesiles recent visit he did not reveal his primary reason for the visit. He did not tell us that he had been in our archives before and now wished to confirm aspects of his previous research. He did not say he was the author of a book and needed some help confirming his previous work. Had he done so we would have immediately begun a search of our invoices and log books. We only discovered after his visit, when we began getting phone calls from both scholars and reporters, that we were in the eye of a hurricane. We had to learn from others what it was Professor Bellesiles really needed. We have, in response to our unwitting involvement and on our own initiative, completed the search of our old invoices with the result stated above.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 5:53:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 5:55:12 PM EDT
What is this now — about the third "explanation" of a previous "explanation"? When you get in a hole...stop digging!
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 5:55:38 PM EDT
Nothing is as embarassing as getting descredited by your own peers. The gunners can be screaming at the top of their lungs with all of the facts in hand, and the liberals will still dismiss it as a sham and smoke screen, but being shot but his fellow anti-gunners......Man that is sweet.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 7:24:30 PM EDT
His first explanation was that it was in the SF courthouse. Then it was in the Sutro library. Then it was in the Mormon records. Then it was at the Contra Costa historical society. That's four that I count. He's not even a good liar. At this point he has to know that everything he says will be relentlessly fact-checked down to the last comma, yet he still keeps on giving bogus references. Maybe he could have credibly claimed that he didn't have the records for SF anymore, but after giving that many bogus references he just looks pathetic.
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 7:50:12 PM EDT
This is a comments section at the site of his letter. There's one guy here who takes you literally through the whole book and tears him up. [url]www.oah.org/cgi-data/view.html[/url]
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 8:49:21 PM EDT
Don't you think you guys are being a little hard on him? I mean, maybe his dog [b]really did[/b] eat his homework. [:P]
Link Posted: 1/29/2002 9:36:43 PM EDT
Great follow-up link, [b]nightstalker[/b] — Nobody's sticking up for him now! Except for the liberals, of course. Several nights ago, the Jim Lair News Hour on PBS did a feature piece on cases of plagerism and fraud in recently-published history books. Did they even mention the Bellisiles case? Nope.
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