One Day in the Classroom: The French Revolution in America and the Reinvention of Revolution – Anna Vincenzi

It was only in the early 1790s that Thomas Jefferson began trumpeting his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout the late 1770s and the 1780s, Americans essentially forgot the Declaration, and no one seemed to remember who had written it. But in the 1790s they started attributing new meanings to the document, making it into a metaphysical, almost sacred text. Jefferson’s fellow Republicans started celebrating him as the “immortal”…

Roundtable: Teaching with Games – Michael LaCombe, Guest Editor

Preliminary Reflections – Rose Beiler and Judy Ridner, Co-Editors, EAS Miscellany Jump to Guest Editor Introduction | Jump to Games Roundtable Posts To what extent are games an effective and even inspiring pedagogy for teaching early American studies? What challenges do instructors and students confront when using games to teach? More specifically, to what extent do immersive, role-playing games like Reacting to the Past encourage students to more actively engage…

Richard Dunn’s Sugar and Slaves at Fifty Years – Trevor Burnard

Historians are surprisingly poor at honoring the works of the historians who went before them.  We are focused on the present, at least when we consider historiographical trends. We tend to relegate historical masterpieces to distant memory. Our amnesia about the great historians of the recent past has become even more pronounced as we have moved into the twenty-first century and as we have dropped from our reading lists many…

Richard S. Dunn: The Historian I Knew before Sugar and Slaves – Nicholas Canny

My first meeting with Richard Dunn was on the day after Labor Day 1967 when I reported to the History Department at the University of Pennsylvania to take up the four-year fellowship I had been awarded to sustain my study for a Ph.D. in history. My ambition was to write a dissertation that would position the plantations the English government promoted in Ireland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within…

Reflections on Sugar and Slaves – Richard S. Dunn

I am profoundly grateful to Trevor Burnard and Alison Games, the organizers of this workshop, and to all of the participants, particularly to those who have submitted research papers for discussion. I have greatly enjoyed reading the sixteen papers, and wish that I knew fifty years ago what I have learned from this workshop. Having lived a long time, I am very conscious of the huge changes that have taken…

A Tale of Two Richards, or, from Sugar and Slavery to Sugar and Slaves – Roderick A. McDonald

I am taking a wee break from celebrating the 50th anniversary release this month of Joni Mitchell’s fantastic Blue album to enjoy our commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Richard Dunn’s fantastic Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624-1713. Apparently, the early 1970s ‘twas a good time for seminal works! And I’m just delighted to be participating in this marvelous event with…

Remarks for A Workshop in Honor of Sugar and Slaves on its 50th Anniversary – Laura Rosanne Adderley

I was one of Richard’s graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. As someone from the Caribbean and from an undergraduate joint degree in History and Latin American Studies, it was only at the University of Pennsylvania–because graduate students are expected to look at the trajectories of historians’ work—that I learned about Richard’s first identity (or always in my mind his “other identity”) as a historian of early North America.…

The Pig of Knowledge: The Career of a Concept – Dan Richter

The Pig of Knowledge and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies (MCEAS) grew up together. The porcine horizon—as archaeologists might call the Pig’s first appearance in the Center’s material culture—occurred in 1998, the same year in which the former Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies assumed its current name. The porker’s premier was abrupt, and two-fold: The Pig of Knowledge graced both the 1997–1998 fellows’ class memorial tee-shirt and…

The Royal Geographical Pastime: A Game from 1770 – Holly Brewer

For several years now I have had students in my U.S. history classes play The Royal Geographical Pastime: Exhibiting a Complete Tour Round The World. In which are delineated the North East and North West Passages into the South Sea, and other modern Discoveries.  Thomas Jeffreys, “geographer to the King,” who created and published it in London in 1770 at a moment when the British empire was very powerful, intended…

Indigenous Perspectives and Historical Empathy – Maeve Kane

After portraying Benjamin Franklin in the Reacting to the Past game Forest Diplomacy, one of my students, who is enrolled at the Seneca Nation, said that she finally understood why settlers did what they did. She wrote in her post-game reflection that it was not until she had to inhabit the role of Franklin and advocate for Indigenous dispossession that she really understood why settlers had pushed (and continue to…