Special Features

This is a collection of all of our special features. For listings of specific categories of our special features, please use the drop-down menu in the navigation bar.

  • Interview with Douglas Winiarski, Author of the Spring 2024 Free Access EAS Article
    Why did you choose to research your topic? What interested you about the topic? My article, “Revisioning the Shawnee Prophet,” began as a COVID project. I was already familiar with the journal of Quaker philanthropist William Allinson, in which he described his dinner conversation with Hendrick Aupaumut, and I was intrigued by the idea that Laloeshiga/Tenskwatawa started receiving visions several years earlier than historians had previously thought. With special collections…
  • Transcripts from the “Freedom Petitioners’” Campaign – Grant Stanton
    In this post, EAS author Grant Stanton transcribes and collects for the first time all of the documents produced by a group of Black men in Boston who petitioned for the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts during the American Revolution. This includes four petitions and a memorial formally submitted to the Massachusetts General Court between 1773 and 1777; a circular letter sent to individual representatives and towns throughout the colony…
  • Call for Submissions: Reconceptualizing Religion in Early African American Literature
    For a special guested-edited issue on early African American literature and religion, Early American Studies seeks article-length contributions on how 18th and 19th century Black writers reconceptualized religion beyond the telos of the nation-state. The roles of religion and religious thought in early Black culture have often been understood within the dualistic frame of resistance whereby Christianity, the dominant religion of colonial and antebellum American society, is both employed by…
  • “Native Copper”: Exhibiting Anishinaabe Wealth at the U.S. National Museum – Gustave Lester, 2023 Murrin Prize Honorable Mention
    Gustave Lester’s article, “Land, Fur, and Copper: The Union of Settler Colonialism and Industrial Capitalism in the Great Lakes Region, 1815–1842,” EAS 21, No. 1 (Winter 2023), received an honorable mention for the 2023 Murrin Prize. The Murrin Prize is named for John Murrin (1936-2020), Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University, who was a scholar of early American history and an active member of the McNeil Center community. The prize…
  • Teaching EAS: An Introduction – Carina Seagrave
    EAS Miscellany’s series “Teaching EAS” highlights the many ways we can teach early American studies in our classes. Whether this consists of using an EAS article or how we discuss a particular topic in our classrooms, Teaching EAS aims to provide guidance to high school, college, and university educators in their lesson planning. We invite you to use our lesson plan template to demonstrate how you approach different topics in…
  • A Walking Tour of Thomas Prince’s London – Christopher Trigg
    Harvard graduate Thomas Prince (1687-1758) visited London twice between 1709 and 1711. In his travel journal (now in the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society) the future minister of Boston’s Old South Church wrote of his excitement at arriving in “the Greatest and most Flourishing City of the Universe.”1 My article in the Fall 2023 issue of Early American Studies discusses the numerous poetic transcriptions that Prince made in that…
  • Teaching EAS: Asheesh Kapur Siddique’s “The Ideological Origins of ‘Written’ Constitutionalism”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “The Ideological Origins of ‘Written’…
  • Implementing the Louisiana Purchase – Jacob F. Lee
    Being surprised is one of the great pleasures of historical research. As little as a passing reference in a single document can spark new understandings of a person, event, or era. In 2019, I began research on a book project about the long aftermath of the Louisiana Purchase and the United States’ century-long project of colonizing the vast lands it had ostensibly acquired from France in 1803. Early on, I…
  • Teaching EAS: Amy Dunagin’s “‘Liberty or Death’: Patrick Henry, Theatrical Song, and Transatlantic Patriot Politics”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “‘Liberty or Death’: Patrick Henry,…
  • Teaching EAS: Rachel Herrmann’s “Consider the Source: An 1800 Maroon Treaty”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “Consider the Source: An 1800…
  • What is an Early American Treaty? – Rachel B. Herrmann
    In the summer of 2011, I was in the National Archives in Kew, London, to read papers in the Sierra Leone Original Correspondence collection. I was researching a dissertation that became a book about hunger and the American Revolution, when I did something that most historians have done.1 I read a document that was peripherally related to my research, recorded some initial observations, and moved on because I didn’t know…
  • From Fort to Casino: The Catawba Nation and the Opposite Carolinas – Stuart Marshall
    North and South Carolina continue to be divided about most things, including how to prepare pulled pork. In North Carolina, the vinegar-based style reigns supreme, but mustard flows south of the border. Beyond barbecue, travelers might notice some striking differences on either side of the line—with North Carolina known for its rural beauty and mountain landscapes, and South Carolina for its southern charm, stately mansions, and palmetto trees. Any reader…
  • Teaching EAS: 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”…
  • 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…
  • Distributing Representation: Are the Founders’ Ideas Still Useful in the 21st Century? – Robert J. Gough
    The issues of the size of the House of Representatives and the apportionment of its members were not settled in 1792 and remain contentious in 2022. In the nearly century-and-a-half between 1790 and 1930, the House grew from 105 to 435 members, and Congress used several different methods to apportion them among the states. Politics always played a role in these decisions, but Congress also became entangled in what mathematicians…
  • Cancel Culture and Call Out Culture in Salem and Essex County, Massachusetts on the Eve of the American Revolution – Richard Morris
    Today, much is made of “cancel culture,” or economically punishing those whose statements, ideas, and behaviors violate the values of various groups. Canceling can include calls for firing individuals who take objectionable stances; boycotting businesses that behave similarly; or, in the case of celebrities, steering clear of their performances. “Call out culture” also condemns offensive language and behaviors but is more often associated with pressure for apologies and reform than…
  • The “Protestant Ethic” in a Pandemic – Sarah Pawlicki
    The above tweet made me chuckle from my kitchen table, where I’m working from home through the Omicron surge. It’s true that, regardless of COVID-19, I’m still as worried about producing dissertation chapters, syllabi, case studies, and grant applications as ever.   Despite significant differences in place, time, and culture, the abovementioned figurative journal entry lamenting the daily grind of the apocalypse would probably have also resonated with a Puritan hauling…
  • The Long-Enduring American Fancy for British Monarchy – Vaughn Scribner
    For a country like the U.S. that violently divorced itself from the British monarchy almost 250 years ago and still jealously guards its role as the arbiter of “true” democracy, modern America is surely obsessed with the British royal family. We refer to many royals on a first-name basis—Diana, Will and Kate, Harry and Meghan—which suggests some sort of intimacy with these elusive figures. We celebrate others, like Queen Elizabeth…
  • The Grand Strand: Returning to the Early American Coast – Daniel Walden
    Managing the effects of climate change on the world’s coastlines is one of the primary environmental challenges of the next one hundred years. Warming global temperatures and the subsequent melting polar ice will have significant physical, economic, and social impacts in some of the globe’s most densely populated areas. In the United States, more than 39 percent of the total population lives in coastal areas that comprise less than 10…
  • Environmental Studies Guide
    As the effects of climate change loom ever larger in our present and future, casting an eye back through time to view how early modern and early American peoples interacted with the natural world can be fruitful. Indeed, ever since historian William Cronon published his path breaking work, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England, in 1983, scholars have been examining how Indigenous, African, and…
  • Accounting for Life: Letterbooks, Ledgers, and the Life of Alexander Wilson – Philip Mogen
    It was an August day in 1768 that the young Scotsman Alexander “Sandie” Wilson was told he would be traveling to Virginia. He had been outside with friends when he was called into his Glasgow home, sat down, and informed of the situation. “Well Sandie,” his father told him, “you must go over seas.” Several months earlier, while discussing his future, Sandie had told his father that he “wou’d like…
  • It’s Corruption All the Way Down – Dylan M. LeBlanc
    Most of my historical subjects were corrupt. Slave-owning, slave-trading, and self-dealing government officials on the edges of Britain’s Atlantic empire, they look today like veritable icons of moral decay. Of course, today’s standards don’t matter. Historians aren’t judges of the dead. We can recognize the evils of slavery, the temptations of duplicity, and separate fact from fiction. We seek, however, to explain the driving force of our narratives without making…
  • Romani History is American History – Ann Ostendorf
    Few Americans consider Romani people significant to the nation’s history. Unlike in Europe, where Romani people are officially counted as the “the largest European minority,” the United States lacks structures and stories that would make visible the individuals who claim this heritage. Despite this, historical sources reveal that members of this diverse diasporic community have been present in the Americas since the beginning of colonization. Famously, four “Egiptos” were sent…
  • Teaching EAS: Teaching the American Revolution as a Global Conflict – Abby Chandler
    Covering the American Revolution is a core expectation for teachers of early American history. I work at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a stone’s throw from Lexington and Concord. My career began in the public history field and drawing on local historic sites is my natural inclination in the classroom. And yet my course, “The American Revolution in the World,” strays further from Massachusetts with every passing year. Now that…
  • The Culture of Money in Early America – Daniel Johnson
    Money regularly stood at the center of popular politics in British America. A dearth of currency in England’s colonies led provincial governments to experiment with paper money beginning in the 1690s, and by the middle of the eighteenth century numerous local currencies circulated throughout the Americas. Monetary policy was a regular source of public debate, as colonial newspapers and pamphlets featured arguments over credit relations, the nature of value, and…
  • Quassaquanch’s and Shaumpishuh’s 1639 Map of the Connecticut Coast – Nathan Braccio
    In 1639, two Algonquian sachems (leaders), Shaumpishuh and her uncle Quassaquanch of Kuttawo and Totoket, met with a few English colonists and created a map of the Connecticut shoreline that would become a site of cultural contest. This artifact is a rare example of an Indigenous map from New England–despite an Algonquian tradition of cartography. Although most of the surviving Algonquian-produced maps come from later in the 1600s, this one…