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Early American Histories

A series of studies on early modern North America and the Caribbean from 1500 to 1815, Early American Histories promises innovative research and analysis of foundational questions central to the work of scholars and teachers of American, British, and Atlantic history—books that bring the early American world into focus.

Series Editors: Douglas Bradburn, John C. Coombs, S. Max Edelson


American Founding Era Collection

The Papers of Eliza Lucas Pinckney & Harriott Pinckney Horry Digital Edition



The papers of Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722–1793) and her daughter Harriott Pinckney Horry (1748–1830) document the lives of two observant and articulate founding-era women who were members of one of South Carolina’s leading families, as well as distinguished people in their own right.... More


Redemption from Tyranny

Herman Husband's American Revolution


Bruce E. Stewart

For many common people, the American Revolution offered an opportunity to radically reimagine the wealth and power structures in the nascent United States. Yet in the eyes of working-class activists, the U.S. Constitution favored the interests of a corrupt elite and betrayed the lofty principles of... More


Experiencing Empire

Power, People, and Revolution in Early America


Patrick Griffin

Born of clashing visions of empire in England and the colonies, the American Revolution saw men and women grappling with power— and its absence—in dynamic ways. On both sides of the revolutionary divide, Americans viewed themselves as an imperial people. This perspective conditioned how they... More


"Esteemed Bookes of Lawe" and the Legal Culture of Early Virginia



Edited by Warren M. Billings and Brent Tarter.

Virginia men of law constituted one of the first learned professions in colonial America, and Virginia legal culture had an important and lasting impact on American political institutions and jurisprudence. Exploring the book collections of these Virginians therefore offers insight into the history... More


Citizens of Convenience

The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border


Lawrence Hatter

Like merchant ships flying flags of convenience to navigate foreign waters, traders in the northern borderlands of the early American republic exploited loopholes in the Jay Treaty that allowed them to avoid border regulations by constantly shifting between British and American nationality. In... More


Settler Jamaica in the 1750s

A Social Portrait


Jack P. Greene

By the mid-eighteenth century, observers of the emerging overseas British Empire thought that Jamaica—in addition to being the largest British colony in the West Indies—was the most valuable of the American colonies. Based on a unique set of historical lists and maps, along with a variety of other... More


Loyal Protestants and Dangerous Papists

Maryland and the Politics of Religion in the English Atlantic, 1630-1690


Antoinette Sutto

Loyal Protestants and Dangerous Papists analyzes the vibrant and often violent political culture of seventeenth-century America, exploring the relationship between early American and early modern British politics through a detailed study of colonial Maryland. Seventeenth-century Maryland was... More


Dunmore's New World

The Extraordinary Life of a Royal Governor in Revolutionary America--with Jacobites, Counterfeiters, Land Schemes, Shipwrecks, Scalping, Indian Politics, Runaway Slaves, and Two Illegal Royal Weddings


James Corbett David

Dunmore's New World tells the stranger-than-fiction story of Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, whose long-neglected life boasts a measure of scandal and intrigue rare in the annals of the colonial world. Dunmore not only issued the first formal proclamation of emancipation in... More


The Road to Black Ned's Forge

A Story of Race, Sex, and Trade on the Colonial American Frontier


Turk McCleskey

In 1752 an enslaved Pennsylvania ironworker named Ned purchased his freedom and moved to Virginia on the upper James River. Taking the name Edward Tarr, he became the first free black landowner west of the Blue Ridge. Tarr established a blacksmith shop on the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia to... More


Early Modern Virginia

Reconsidering the Old Dominion


Edited by Douglas Bradburn and John C. Coombs

This collection of essays on seventeenth-century Virginia, the first such collection on the Chesapeake in nearly twenty-five years, highlights emerging directions in scholarship and helps set a new agenda for research in the next decade and beyond. The contributors represent some of the best of a... More


Creating the British Atlantic

Essays on Transplantation, Adaptation, and Continuity


Jack P. Greene

Set mostly within an expansive British imperial and transatlantic framework, this new selection of writings from the renowned historian Jack P. Greene draws on themes he has been developing throughout his distinguished career. In these essays Greene explores the efforts to impose Old World... More


The Evil Necessity

British Naval Impressment in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World


Denver Brunsman

A fundamental component of Britain’s early success, naval impressment not only kept the Royal Navy afloat—it helped to make an empire. In total numbers, impressed seamen were second only to enslaved Africans as the largest group of forced laborers in the eighteenth century.In The Evil Necessity,... More