Bachelor of Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 1948; Master of Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 1949; Doctor of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1954; Master of Arts (honorary), Amherst College, 1966.
Instructor humanities, Stevens Institute Technology, 1950-1952; member of faculty, Amherst College, since 1952; professor of history, Amherst College, since 1966.
Served with United States Naval Reserve, 1944-1946. Member American History Association, Northeast Victorian Studies Association, American Association of University Professors (president Amherst 1967-1969), Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Upsilon.
Married Betty Nilsen, May 14, 1949. Children: Mark Nilsen, Brian Whittemore, Lorna Katharine.