Vol. 16 No. 1 : Fall 2015


The Pilgrim Pair survey recent scholarship on the white settlement of North America. Photo by Jonathan Beecher Field.

Come On, Lilgrim

The gap between academic and popular understandings of early American topics is an enduring challenge for early Americanists. In the case of Thanksgiving, that gap is widening.

Roundtable: The Colored Conventions Project


Eric Foner. Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015. 352 pp., $16.95.

Interracial Roads to American Freedom

Freedom occupies a permanent place in our national consciousness.

Jodi Schorb, Reading Prisoners: Literature, Literacy, and the Transformation of American Punishment, 1700-1845. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2014. 256 pp., $39.95.

Reading, Writing, and Punishment

Jodi Schorb extends and revises the historiography of literacy, punishment, and incarceration during the long eighteenth century in British North America and the early United States.

Eric Nelson, The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2014. 400 pp., $29.95.

Revolution Revisited

Nelson’s driving argument is that the “fear of legislative tyranny” that animated royalists in the 1640s and 1650s also shaped the constitutional thought of an influential group he labels “patriot royalists.”

Catherine Jones, Literature and Music in the Atlantic World, 1767–1867. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014. 288 pp., $120.

The Canon between Arts and Nations

Considering figures as diverse as Bach, Jefferson, Beethoven, and Frederick Douglass, Catherine Jones explores the interaction of two major art forms over the course of a century.

The Common School

Screenshot of chapter 1, "The New World," The American Yawp. Courtesy of Ben Wright, accessed July 1, 2015.

Collaborating to Recreate Pre-Columbian America: The American Yawp as Case Study

In the 2013-2014 academic year, over 350 historians collaborated to produce The American Yawp, a free online, collaboratively built American history textbook.

Tales from the Vault

1. Three leather-bound albums from the A.S. Williams Collection at the University of Alabama. Courtesy of the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, the University of Alabama.

Family Albums of War: Carte de Visite Collections in the Civil War Era

Nineteenth-century viewers were just as likely to envision war through the more personalized lens of the family album as through the battlefield.

Object Lessons

4. Detail, Bostonians Paying the Excise-Man, or Tarring & Feathering. First state. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Impressions of Tar and Feathers: The “New American Suit” in Mezzotint, 1774-84

On a frigid Boston night in January 1774, a crowd of American colonials tarred and feathered a hated customs official.

Ask the Author

LOC stamp act

Still a Prologue? The Stamp Act Protests at 250

Ask the Author invites a group of distinguished scholars of Revolutionary America to participate in a forum on the continuing importance of The Stamp Act Crisis.

Poetic Research

1. Sand Creek “Battle” memorial headstone, circa 1950, Sand Creek Massacre Historic Site, southeastern Colorado (2014). Photo by Billy J. Stratton.

Stories of Native Presence and Survivance in Commemoration of the 151st Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre

Evocations of Survivance: Native Storiers in Word and Image in Remembrance of Sand Creek

Notes on the Text

John James Audubon, “Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis),” Havell plate no. 26. Object number 1863.17.26, New-York Historical Society.  The piece was executed on paper and attached to card (75.6 x 54 cm), with watercolor, graphite, pastel, gouache, black ink, and with selective glazing and scraping. The last Carolina Parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1918, and the species was officially declared extinct in 1939. Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society. Digital image created by Oppenheimer Editions.

The Heart of Audubon

Five unpublished letters (1825–1830) reveal the ornithologist’s dream and how he (almost) achieved it

Web Library

Images from “The Pocahontas Archive,” courtesy of Lehigh University.

The Pocahontas Archive

History on Trial is the product of collaborations among graduate students, Lehigh faculty, librarians, technical staff, students, high school teachers, and early Americanists nationally.