Each year the Historical Society of Pennsylvania awards one Esther Ann McFarland Fellowship in memory of Judge William Lewis for research on either 17th-century Pennsylvania, with a preference for research on New Sweden or on the influence of the early Swedish settlers on the development of Pennsylvania, or on African American history. The fellowship supports one month of residency in Philadelphia for advanced, postdoctoral, and dissertation research. The stipend is $2,000. The Library Company's Cassatt House fellows' residence offers rooms at reasonable rates, along with a kitchen, common room, and offices with internet access, available to resident and nonresident fellows at all hours
The Esther Ann McFarland Fellowship in memory of Judge William Lewis began in the 2011–2012 academic year and has been generously endowed by Esther Ann McFarland.
- Dr. Alyssa Ribeiro, Research Scholar, UCLA Center for the Study of Women, Making the City Brotherly: Black and Latino Community Activism in Philadelphia, 1960s to 1980s
- Nathan Jérémie-Brink, PhD Candidate in History, Loyola University Chicago, “Gratuitous Distribution”: Distributing African American Antislavery Texts, 1773–1845
- Dr. Richard Bell, Department of History, University of Maryland: Slavery's Black Market: A Microhistory
- Thomas Sheeler, PhD Candidate in History, University of Delaware: Negotiating Slavery on Mason and Dixon's Line: Race, Section, and Union in Maryland and Pennsylvania before the Civil War
- Dr. James J. Gigantino II, Department of History, University of Arkansas: Freedom and Slavery in the Garden of America: African Americans and Abolition in New Jersey, 1775–1861