An Interview with the Editors of the *Journal of the Early Republic*

JEROver at The Panorama, Will Mackintosh interviews Andy Shankman and David Waldstreicher, the new editors of the Journal of the Early Republic.

Here is a taste:

Will: What are some of your plans for your editorial tenure at the Journal of the Early Republic?

Andy: Above all stewardship (which is an idea I’ve stolen from David) because I think the journal is in such great shape and has had such an impressive run of editors. So above all, I hope to do no harm. I’d like to involve the SHEAR community in helping us to think about special issues on topics that a large portion of our readers would like to see. For me, the core mission of the journal is to publish excellent original research drawn primarily from primary sources. But I also feel that we’ve never produced more high-quality scholarship at a greater (even overwhelming) rate than we are right now. I want to think about ways the JER might help us to attempt some broad, synthetic thinking, and perhaps get scholars of different generations and scholarly focuses talking to each other. So many people are asking so many critical questions now about the nation’s origins—about race and slavery, gender relations, the role and nature of the state at all levels, about how all of that relates to capitalism and political economy, about the need to bring together historiographies about institutions, cultural and social relations and constructions, political though,t etc., scholarships that haven’t always engaged with each other as much as they might—it’s a tremendously exciting time to be a student of the early American republic, and I want to think about ways in which the JER can continue to capture and convey that excitement.

David: Doug Bradburn buttonholed me with this same question at SHEAR in Baltimore when I took over in 2012 and I answered in one word: stewardship. (I’m still wondering if he was disappointed.) The job of the editor is to get the best possible work in all subfields into the journal. Articles should be timely in the sense of speaking to matters of current interest to historians, but it is even more important that articles should be built to last a long time, to be resources for historians in all fields and for others who will be interested in we know not what in 10 or 20 or 50 years (witness the renewed fascination with aspects of economic and diplomatic history, utterly unpredicted when I was in grad school). Sooner or later, anything may become timely again. Journal editing is about creating and spreading brand new discoveries and interpretations but also about archiving original research it so it is there to be more easily found later when it is needed. But perhaps most of all, regardless of whether one focuses on the short or long term of scholarship in our field, the number one job of the editors is to draw on whatever expertise we can muster, including especially the readers who graciously review manuscripts for us, to make every piece that passes through our hands (or now, screens) better whether we publish it or not.

Read the entire interview here.

Andrew Shankman and David Walstreicher Take the Helm at the *Journal of the Early Republic*

JERMark Cheathem reports at “The Republic Blog”:

We are pleased to introduce the new co-editors of the Journal of the Early Republic, following the excellent leadership of retiring editor, Cathy KellyAndrew Shankman of Rutgers University-Camden and David Waldstreicher of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York will assume the editorship of the journal at the conclusion of SHEAR’s annual meeting in July 2018.

Andrew Shankman is a historian of the American Revolution and founding era, and author of Original Intents: Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, and the American Founding (2017) and Crucible of American Democracy: The Struggle to Fuse Egalitarianism and Capitalism in Jeffersonian Pennsylvania (2004). He edited Anglicizing America: Empire, Revolution, Republic (2015) and The World of the Revolutionary American Republic: Land, Labor and the Conflict for a Continent (2014).

David Waldstreicher is a historian of early and nineteenth-century America, and author of Slavery’s Constitution: From Revolution to Ratification (2009); Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (2004); and In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776-1820 (1997). As editor, his books include A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams (2013), A Companion to Benjamin Franklin (2011), and The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents (2001). He also served as co-editor of the Journal of the Early Republic from 2013 to 2014.

Read the rest here.


Call for Papers: Women and Religion in the Early Americas


Mary Maples Dunn

Ann Little, aka Historiann, is co-editing a special edition of Early American Studies in honor of the late Mary Maples Dunn.  Here is the call for papers:

Call For Papers: Women and Religion in the Early Americas

For a special issue in honor of the life and career of Mary Maples Dunn, Early American Studies seeks article-length contributions from scholars working on the history of women and religion in the early Americas. Mary Maples Dunn (1931-2017) was a leading practitioner of women’s history, as a scholar, as a teacher, and in her life as a university leader. She worked in a variety of fields from early American women’s history; to colonial Latin American history; to the history of religious women; to the history of women’s education as well as, of course, the worlds of William Penn and early Philadelphia.

The editors invite essays that consider the history of early American women, early American religion (or both) and are especially interested in work that makes cross-cultural comparisons or integrates multiple Atlantic orientations: North and South (French, British, Dutch, Spanish and/or Portuguese) East and West (from European and/or African links to Native American perspectives). We are interested in both formal article-length contributions (10,000 words) and in shorter essays on “Notes and Documents” that highlight innovative or creative ways of reading/using primary-source documents (3,000-5,000 words).

To submit, please email a 3-page CV and a 1,000 word summary of the contribution you propose to write by September 30 to Ann Little ( and Nicole Eustace ( Please use the subject line “Mary Maples Dunn Special Issue Submission.” We will notify you of your preliminary acceptance by October 31, 2017 and final essays are due on April 30, 2018. Articles are to be published, subject to peer review, in 2019.

Friendship in Early America

JSHI just learned that the theme of the recent issue of the Journal of Social History is “Friendship in Early America.”

Here is the table of contents:

Janet Moore Lindman, “Histories of Friendship in Early America: An Introduction”

Gregory Smithers, “‘Our Hands and Hearts are Joined Together’: Friendship, Colonialism, and the Cherokee People in Early America”

Shelby Balik, “‘Dear Christian Friends’: Charity Bryant, Sylvia Drake, and the Making of a Spiritual Network”

Thomas Balcerski, “‘A Work of Friendship’: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Franklin Pierce, and the Politics of Enmity in the Civil War Era”

Janet Moore Lindman, “‘This Union of the Soul’: Spiritual Friendship among Early American Protestants”

Nik Ribianszky, “‘Tell Them that My Dayly Thoughts are with Them as Though I was Amidst Them All”: Friendship among Property-Owning Free People of Color in Nineteenth-Century Natchez, Mississippi.

Edmund Morgan Wins Junto March Madness

Junto MarchA few years ago Morgan’s book American Slavery/American Freedom won the Junto March Madness tournament devoted to the best books in early American history.

This year Morgan’s 1972 “Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox” won the best article in early American history.  Morgan defeated Jill Lepore’s “Historians Who Love to Much: Reflections on Microhistory and Biography” in the final match.

Early American historians still love Edmund Morgan!

Let’s see what the good folks of the Junto come up with for next year’s March Madness. How about best history blogs or best books on Philip Vickers Fithian?

The New Issue of *New Jersey Studies* is Here

If you are interested in New Jersey history you should check out New Jersey Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  It is an online peer reviewed journal of New Jersey studies edited by Melissa Ziobro at Monmouth University.  Jonathan Mercantini of Kean University serves as the book review editor.

Here is the table of contents from the Spring 2016 edition.  There is some really good stuff here.


Winter 2016 Letter from the Editor
Melissa Ziobro


Jonathan Lurie
Holly Metz


Christopher M. Bellitto
Robert W. Craig
Richard L. Porter
Si Sheppard
Barbara M. Tucker


Jonathan D. Cohen


Maxine N. Lurie


Timothy O’Shea


Alan Delozier
Firth Haring Fabend
Larry A. Greene
Michelle Craig McDonald
Lucia McMahon
Karen Schnitzspahn
Janet Sheridan
Richard Veit


The Junto March Madness Tournament is Back

Junto MarchThis year, the good folks at The Junto blog are focusing their annual March Madness tournament on journal articles.  Head over to the Junto and nominate your three favorite early American history articles.

And don’t forget to nominate:

John Fea, “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment,” Journal of American History 90:2 (September 2003).

Let’s see how far the coining of the phrase “rural Enlightenment” can take us. As I have done in previous Junto tournaments, I am organizing my ground game.  I am hoping the readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog will rise up from the grass roots and carry Fithian and the “rural Enlightenment” to 1). A spot in the tournament field and 2). at least a first round upset.  🙂

Here is how it works, from the Junto blog:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at The Junto, or the month of March Madness! As faithful readers will know, each year we engage in a spirited tournament of voting in some category related to early American history. Last year, it was primary sources. Find out what this year’s theme will be after the jump.

This time around, we’ve decided that our tournament will focus on journal articles. Here are our two big reasons for this decision: 1) for many of our students, articles are cheaper than books because they’re free. Articles become a way for students to get a taste of an author’s larger contribution and historiographical intervention. 2) Although we recognize that scholarly journals can and do pose access issues to non-academics, many journals are taking important steps to improve access, and we’re hoping that the tournament encourages further sharing of articles (on which, more soon!).

Nominations open today and close on Sunday at 5 p.m. EST. Check out the rules below and then add your nominations and seconds in the Comments section. Then, by the power of The Junto‘s bracketologists, we’ll put together tournament brackets, announce the brackets, and open it up for your votes in the very near future.

The Rules

1) Journal articles can be old or very recent, but should have appeared in a journal rather than an edited collection. If a journal article has been reprinted in an edited collection, however, please mention that in your nomination because it will make it easier for additional people to read it. As with last year, the point of this exercise is to create a giant list of sources–in this case, secondary sources–for research and teaching that encourage us all to think about access issues and how to be good historians.

2) All nominations must be made in the Comments section of this post.

3) If would be helpful if, in your nomination, you included one line about each of the articles you’re nominating. Do you use it for teaching? Did it make you rethink a particular historical moment? Tell us why you care about the article!

4) We ask that you nominate a maximum of three articles that have not yet been nominated. You may also “second” the nomination of three other articles that have already been nominated. If you were going to nominate articles already mentioned you may do so and they will be tallied as seconds.

5) Want to participate in extra nerding out on Twitter? Use the hashtag #JuntoMM16 (because, er, #JMM16 has been taken over by STEM people).

NB: Essentially, each voter can nominate and second up to six articles but only three can be new nominations. Given the number of comments posted last year, please state explicitly which of your articles count as nominations, and which count as seconds. (To see if one of your choices has already been nominated, go to Edit->Find in your browser and type in the name of the primary source.)

The Disclaimer

Like last year’s tournament, this is all meant to be taken in a spirit of fun. This tournament is not meant to bestow any kind of value judgment on individual works. If anything, it may be a reflection of the “favorite” articles of our readers; but that should not be thought of as implying that it reflects what our readers or this blog think is the “best” article. Last year’s competition inspired lots of interesting and entertaining conversations, and this year we’re hoping to hear from even more of you. We’ll be interspersing the tournament, and following it up, with reflections on articles and their place in the historical profession. Please feel free to join in in the comments, or to use the Twitter hashtag.

The New *Journal of the Early Republic* is Here

Winter 2015:

Reassessing Responses to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions:
New Evidence from the Tennessee and Georgia Resolutions and from Other States

A ‘‘Voice of Benevolence from the Western Wilderness’’: The Politics of Native Philanthropy in the Trans-Mississippi West

Trick or Constitutional Treaty?: The Jay Treaty and the Quarrel over the Diplomatic Separation of Powers

‘‘The Music of a well tun’d State’’: ‘‘The Star Spangled Banner’’ and the Development of a Federalist Musical Tradition\


Digitizing Dolley, and Eliza and Harriott Pinckney

Saunt, West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776

Miller, Dangerous Guests: Enemy Captives and Revolutionary Communities during the War for Independence

Nelson, The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding

Glover, Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries

Smith, Robert Morris’s Folly: The Architectural and Financial Failures of an American Founder

Connors, Ingenious Machinists: Two Inventive Lives from the American Industrial Revolution

Peart, Era of Experimentation: American Political Practices in the Early Republic

Criblez, Parading Patriotism: Independence Day Celebrations in the Urban Midwest, 1826–1876

Roth, Gender and Race in Antebellum Popular Culture

Chambers, The Weston Sisters: An American Abolitionist Family

Demos, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

Scott and He´brard, Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation

SoJourn: A Journal of South Jersey History and Culture

As someone who has written a few things about the early history of southern New Jersey, I am thrilled to see this call for articles:

Call for Articles: SoJourn: Journal of South Jersey History & Culture 

In spring 2016, the South Jersey Culture & History Center at Stockton University will publish its inaugural issue of SoJourn, a new journal devoted to the history, culture, and geography of southern New Jersey. We are seeking community members, avocational historians, and scholars to contribute essays on topics related to South Jersey. Illustrations to accompany these articles will be a plus. Articles should be written for laypersons who are interested and curious about South Jersey topics, but do not necessarily have expertise in the areas covered. Potential authors should check SJCHC’s website in mid-October 2015 ( for a link to a simplified style sheet guide for article preparation. Journal editors will be happy to guide any would be authors. 

Sample topics might include: 

Biographical sketches of important but forgotten local people; the development or succession of a community’s roads or bridges; local transportation (focused by mode or area) and what changes it wrought in the served communities; history of community businesses and industries (wineries, garment factories, agriculture, etc.); old school houses, old hotels, or meeting halls; narrative descriptions of local geographical features; essays concerned with folklore, music, arts; and reviews of new local interest publications. Photo essays and old photograph and postcard reproductions are welcome with applicable captions. In short, if a South Jersey topic interests you, it will likely interest SoJourn’s readers. 

Parameters for submissions: 

• Submissions must pertain to topics bounded within the 8 southernmost counties of New Jersey (Burlington & Ocean Counties and south)

 • Manuscripts should be approximately 3,000–4,000 words long (5 to 7 pages of singlespaced text and 9 to 12 pages including images) • Manuscripts should conform to the SoJourn style sheet, available here: 

• Manuscripts, if at all possible, should be submitted in digital format (Word- or pdf-formatted documents preferred) • Images should be submitted as high-resolution tiff- or jpeg-formatted files (editors can assist with digital conversion of photos if necessary) 

• Appropriate citations printed as endnotes should be employed (see style sheet). 

• Original submissions only. Copyright licenses for all images must be obtained by the author or should be copyright-free figures and/or figures in the public domain. • Articles need to be more than just a chronology of the given topic. The author should be able to properly contextualize the subject by answering such questions as: a) why is this important?; b) what is the impact on the local or regional history? and c) how does it compare to similar events/personages/changes/processes in other localities? 

Call for submissions

Submissions are due by December 31, 2015. Send inquiries or submissions to

The New "Church History" Journal is Here

Here are the articles from the June 2014 issue of Church History:

Robert McEachnie, “A History of Heresy Past: The Sermons of Chromatius of Aquileia.”

Allson More, “Institutionalizing Penitential Life in Later Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Third Orders, Rules, and Canonical Legitimacy.”

Jan Stievermann, “Faithful Translations: New Discoveries on the German Pietist Reception of Jonathan Edwards.”

Bruce Hindmarsh, “The Inner Life of Doctrine: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Calvinist-Arminian Debate Among Methodists

Emily Anderson, “Containing Voices in the Wilderness: Censorship and Religious Dissent in the Japanese Countryside.”

And reviews by Amanda Porterfield, Paul Seaver, Donald McKim, Jeremy Bangs, Carol Karlson, Jonathan Israel, Charles Cohen, and Art Remillard.

"The Allrounder" Needs Your Support

Are you a sports fan?  Are you an intellectual, scholar, or teacher who has been looking for a deeper conversation about the connections between sports and society?  Then you need to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign for “The Allrounder.”

My friend Bruce Berglund of Calvin College and a few of his colleagues around the world have started an online sports journal that will feature academics and journalists writing about the broader connections of sports to history, politics, science, even philosophy and theology.  Here is a small taste of what you can expect:

They also have a really nice group of contributors lined up, including Amy Bass, a friend of the blog, director of NBC’s Olympic research room (for which she won an Emmy), and one of our most thoughtful commentators on the relationship between sports, race, and American culture.  Oh yes–did I mention we went to graduate school together?
I should say up front that we at The Way of Improvement Leads Home only support Kickstarter campaigns for projects that have potential and promise and can make a contribution to the kinds of discourse and subject matter we value here.  The Allrounder fits the bill on all these fronts.

Perhaps some of you may not be familiar with Kickstarter campaigns.   Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform with a mission to “help bring creative projects to life.” Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are designed to gather money from the public thus circumventing traditional avenues of investment.  Project creators choose a deadline and a minimum funding goal.  If the goal is not met by the deadline, no funds are collected.  Money pledged by donors is collected using Amazon Payments.

CLICK HERE to go to the Kickstarter project page for The Allrounder

CLICK HERE to see the The Allrounder preview site.  The full site will go up in September.

The New "Early American Studies" is Here

Not the cover of the current issue


The Paradox of Sagadahoc: The Popham Colony, 1607–1608
Christopher J . Bilodeau

‘‘Bring them what they lack’’: Spanish-Creek Exchange and Alliance Making in a Maritime Borderland, 1763–1783
James L. Hill

Enlightenment and Revolution: The Case of Louisiana, 1768
Samuel Biagetti

With a Song in Their Hands: Incendiary Décimas from the Texas and Louisiana Borderlands during a Revolutionary Age
Carla Gerona

Rods and Reels: Social Clubs and Political Culture in Early Pennsylvania
Kate Haulman

Rus-Urban Imaginings: Literature of the American Park Movement and Representations of Social Space in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
John Evelev

“Consider the Source”

‘‘Exactly as they appear’’: Another Look at the Notes of a 1766 Treason Trial in Poughkeepsie, New York, with Some Musings on the Documentary Foundations of Early American History
James H. Merrell

Journal of the American Revolution

I have recently been reading a smart and accessible web journal called the “Journal of the American Revolution.”  Here is a little more about it:

In a world of increasing historical illiteracy and apathy, Journal of the American Revolution ( publishes passionate, creative and smart content intended to make history more palatable. Our editorial menu offers a healthy variety of in-depth features and engaging columns, in both short- and long-form, with an eye for accuracy over legend. Our daily goals are simple: Make serious history more approachable among a diverse audience and regularly deliver original, unique and interesting material to our readers. It’s edutainment, or a business casual approach to scholarship, if you will. Collectively, our rapidly growing archive — now approaching 200 articles — provides amazing substance, depth and breadth as we strive to become the leading source of information about the American Revolution and Founding period. 

Journal of the American Revolution is the brainchild and production of Reporting the Revolutionary War author Todd Andrlik, and co-edited with historian-authors Hugh T. Harrington and Don N. Hagist. As a multi-author online magazine, we welcome contributions from all American Revolution intellectuals — amateur or professional. Since our launch in January 2013, we have been cited or featured by TIME, Slate, Smithsonian, Bloomberg, UPI, AHA, Huffington Post, History News Network, MSNBC and KCRW Public Radio. More so, we have attracted an audience of more than a 170,000 readers, including media, students, educators, and employees of major academic and research institutions, corporations, government agencies and branches.

The editors of the journal have put together an impressive lineup of writers that includes Michael Adelberg, J.L. Bell, Liz Covart, Thomas Fleming, Ray Raphael, and Taylor Stoermer.

If you have a serious interest in the American Revolution, but find the scholarly journals a bit stuffy, Journal of American Revolution is for you.

April 2013 Issue of the "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography"

Hot off the press:

This issue’s contents are:

David L. Crosby, “The Surgeon and the Abolitionist: William Chancellor and Anthony Benezet”

Candice L. Harrison, “’Free Trade and Hucksters’ Rights!’ Envisioning Economic Democracy in the Early Republic”

Nicholas P. Ciotola, Photo Essay: “From Philadelphia to the Pinelands: The New Jersey Photographs of Lewis W. Hine”

Rachel Moloshok and HSP Archives Staff, “Newly  Available and Processed Collections at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania”

And the usual assortment of book reviews.

Special Issue of "Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography" Devoted to The Emancipation Proclamation

Here is the table of contents of the January 2013 issue of the PMHB.  The theme is “The Emancipation Proclamation at 150.”

Front Matter

by Tamara Gaskell

by Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Randall M. Miller 

The Contested History of American Freedom
by Eric Foner

The Age of Emancipating Proclamations: Early Civil War Abolitionism and Its Discontents
by Richard S. Newman

“God Is Settleing the Account”: African American Reaction to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation
by Daniel R. Biddle and Murray Dubin

“You Feel So Out of Place”: Germantown’s J. Gordon Baugh and the 1913 Commemoration of the Emancipation Proclamation
by David W. Young 

Review Essay
“A Measure Alike Military & Philanthropic”: Historians and the Emancipation Proclamation
by Douglas R. Edgerton 

Book Reviews
Newman and Mueller, eds., Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia: Emancipation and the Long Struggle for Racial Justice in the City of Brotherly Love
by Katrina Anderson

Grivno, Gleanings of Freedom: Free and Slave Labor along the Mason-Dixon Line, 1790–1860
by Howard Bodenhorn

Davis, “We Will Be Satisfied With Nothing Less”: The African American Struggle for Equal Rights in the North during Reconstruction
by W. Fitzhugh Brundage

The Appendix: A New Journal of Narrative & Experimental History

After basking in an annual meeting of the American Historical Association filled with stories about storytelling and narratives about doing narrative history, I was thrilled to run across The Appendix: A New Journal of Narrative & Experimental History.  The editors and contributors, most of them academics and graduate students, are pushing the boundaries of traditional history writing.  Their inaugural issue, “The End,” is worth checking out.

Here is what The Appendix is all about:

The Appendix is a quarterly journal of experimental and narrative history; though at times outlandish, everything in its pages is as true as the sources allow. The Appendix solicits articles from historians, writers, and artists committed to good storytelling, with an eye for the strange and a suspicion of both jargon and traditional narratives. A creature of the web, its format takes advantage of the flexibility of hypertext and modern web presentation techniques to experiment with and explore the process and method of writing history. 

I am a fan!