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Early Republic


Thomas Jefferson's Military Academy
Founding West Point Robert M. S. McDonald

Why did Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to abhor war and fear standing armies, in 1802 establish the United States Military Academy? For more than two centuries this question has received scant attention, despite the significant contributions of both Jefferson and West Point to American history.... More


The Diaries of Gouverneur Morris
New York, 1799-1816 Gouverneur Morris. Edited by Melanie Randolph Miller

On January 5, 1799, a day that was "cold and like for Snow," Gouverneur Morris left the city of New York after dinner and then, as he recorded in his diary, went "to my House at Morrisania, where I arrive at Dusk after an Absence of above ten Years." Those ten years had been spent in the ferment of... More


The Selected Papers of John Jay
1788–1794 John Jay. edited by Elizabeth M. Nuxoll

Volume 5 opens with John Jay taking a leave of absence from his post as secretary for foreign affairs to serve as a delegate to the New York Ratifying Convention. Following Jay’s appointment as the first chief justice of the United States, the volume documents his efforts to establish the federal... More


Capital and Convict
Race, Region, and Punishment in Post–Civil War America Henry Kamerling

Both in the popular imagination and in academic discourse, North and South are presented as fundamentally divergent penal systems in the aftermath of the Civil War, a difference mapped onto larger perceived cultural disparities between the two regions. The South’s post Civil War embrace of chain... More


Body and Soul
A Sympathetic History of American Spiritualism Robert S. Cox

A product of the "spiritual hothouse" of the Second Great Awakening, Spiritualism became the fastest growing religion in the nation during the 1850s, and one of the principal responses to the widespread perception that American society was descending into atomistic particularity. In Body and Soul,... More


The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 2510 March–12 May 1780 George Washington. Edited by William M. Ferraro

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Confounding Father
Thomas Jefferson's Image in His Own Time Robert M. S. McDonald

Of all the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson stood out as the most controversial and confounding. Loved and hated, revered and reviled, during his lifetime he served as a lightning rod for dispute. Few major figures in American history provoked such a polarization of public opinion. One supporter... 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


Jefferson's Body
A Corporeal Biography Maurizio Valsania

What did Thomas Jefferson look like? How did he carry himself? Such questions, reasonable to ask as we look back on a person who lived in an era before photography, are the starting point for this boldly original new work. Maurizio Valsania considers all aspects of Jefferson’s complex conception of... More


Democracy's Muse
How Thomas Jefferson Became an FDR Liberal, a Reagan Republican, and a Tea Party Fanatic, All the While Being Dead Andrew Burstein

In political speech, Thomas Jefferson is the eternal flame. No other member of the founding generation has served the agendas of both Left and Right with greater vigor. When Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the iconic Jefferson Memorial on the founder’s two hundredth birthday, in 1943, he declared the... More


Blood from the Sky
Miracles and Politics in the Early American Republic Adam Jortner

In the decades following the Revolution, the supernatural exploded across the American landscape—fabulous reports of healings, exorcisms, magic, and angels crossed the nation. Under First Amendment protections, new sects based on such miracles proliferated. At the same time, Enlightenment... More


Giant's Causeway
Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary Tom Chaffin

In 1845, seven years after fleeing bondage in Maryland, Frederick Douglass was in his late twenties and already a celebrated lecturer across the northern United States. The recent publication of his groundbreaking Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave had incited threats to... 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


War upon Our Border
Two Ohio Valley Communities Navigate the Civil War Stephen I. Rockenbach

War upon Our Border examines the experiences of two Ohio River Valley communities during the turmoil and social upheaval of the American Civil War. Although on opposite sides of the border between slavery and freedom, Corydon, Indiana, and Frankfort, Kentucky, shared a legacy of white settlement... More


The Papers of George Washington
1 Oct. 1795–31 March 1796 George Washington

Volume 19 of the Presidential Series (October 1795 through March 1796) features the final stages of the controversy about the 1794 Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation with Great Britain (the Jay Treaty). In August, George Washington had ratified the treaty, with a condition attached by the... More


George Washington, Nationalist
Edward J. Larson

George Washington was the unanimous choice of his fellow founders for president, and he is remembered to this day as an exceptional leader, but how exactly did this manifest itself during his lifetime? In George Washington, Nationalist, acclaimed author Edward J. Larson reveals the fascinating... More


The Private Jefferson
Perspectives from the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Peter S. Onuf, Andrea Wulf, and Henry Adams. Edited by Ondine LeBlanc

One of U.S. history’s most eminent figures, Thomas Jefferson is as elusive as he is revered. The Private Jefferson opens a window onto the third president’s inner life by exploring the single largest cache of Thomas Jefferson’s private papers, held--to the surprise of many--at the Massachusetts... More


The Papers of James Madison
1 March 1823-24 February 1826 James Madison. Edited by David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Mary Parke Johnson, and Katharine E. Harbury

During the period around volume 3 of the Retirement Series, James Madison remained largely at Montpelier, except for occasional visits to neighbors and attendance at ceremonial dinners and semiannual meetings of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia. Madison’s correspondence in this... More


A Notorious Woman
Anne Royall in Jacksonian America Elizabeth J. Clapp

During her long career as a public figure in Jacksonian America, Anne Royall was called everything from an "enemy of religion" to a "Jackson man" to a "common scold." In her search for the source of such strong reactions, Elizabeth Clapp has uncovered the story of a widely read woman of letters who... More


The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 241 January–9 March 1780 George Washington. Benjamin L. Huggins

With volume 24 of the Revolutionary War Series, the conflict enters a new decade. New Year's Day 1780 finds Washington in winter quarters at Morristown, N.J., having established his headquarters at the Ford mansion there one month earlier.During the weeks covered by this volume, the Continental... More


The Selected Papers of John Jay
1785-1788 John Jay. edited by Elizabeth M. Nuxoll

Volume 4 of The Selected Papers of John Jay opens in January 1785 as John Jay assumes office as secretary for foreign affairs and brings system and order to the long-neglected Department of Foreign Affairs. It explores Jay's administration of all aspects of American foreign affairs, including his... 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


The Papers of George Washington
Revolutionary War Series, vol. 2322 October–31 December 1779 George Washington. Edited by William M. Ferraro

As October 1779 became November, George Washington realized that autumn had advanced too far for a combined Franco-American assault against the British forces in New York City that year, and he curtailed preparations. After a large British expedition departed New York in late December, Washington... More


Imagining a Nation
History and Memory in Making Zimbabwe Ruramisai Charumbira

In Imagining a Nation, Ruramisai Charumbira analyzes competing narratives of the founding of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe constructed by political and cultural nationalists both black and white since occupation in 1890. The book uses a wide array of sources—including archives, oral histories, and a national... More


Practicing Democracy
Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War Edited by Daniel Peart and Adam Smith

In Practicing Democracy, eleven historians challenge conventional narratives of democratization in the early United States, offering new perspectives on the period between the ratification of the Constitution and the outbreak of the Civil War. The essays in this collection address critical themes... More


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