The Week in Early American History

TWEAHHappy New Year! A brief post today, and then the Junto will take a few days to observe the transition from 2012 to 2013 (before most of the members head to New Orleans for the AHA conference). Enjoy these reads!


I’m really intrigued by John Fea’s plan to chronicle the reading he’s doing for his current research project. Transparency about the process is really necessary for people to understand what actually goes into a book, and a treat for other scholars to see how others think and work.

J.L. Bell of Boston 1775 reviews the early American portion of Spying in America.

Darren Reid, author of Daniel Boone and Others on the Kentucky Frontier, highlights his favorite podcasts from 2012.

The UPenn Libraries have released a resource with tips on how to search a variety of databases, including several of interest to early Americanists.


Linford Fisher and his graduate students at Brown have created a website to accompany their course, Religion in the Early Modern Atlantic World. The site includes brief essays and bibliographies for many areas of study within that topic, making it a must to consult for graduate students and scholars interested in early modern religion.

News and Notes

2012 has been a popular year for films about antebellum and Civil War America. Most recently is Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti Western, Django Unchained, spawning commentary from several quarters:

  • At, University of Pennsylvania English professor Salamishah Tillet reviews the film at the In America blog on
  • Jon Wiener, writing at The Nation, compares the film to Lincoln.
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. interviews Tarantino at The Root.
  • Anthea Butler, writing at The Grio, ponders Tarantino’s treatment of the history of slavery.

On Christmas Day, USA Today published a long feature on the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

It’s a little bit outside the realm of “Early America,” but yesterday was the 122nd anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee.

Franklin scholar Claude-Anne Lopez has died at the age of 92.


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