Many months ago, I posted the first of what I hoped to be a quarterly series highlighting recent articles I enjoyed, and inviting readers to do the same. Sadly, life got in the way, and so I have a bit to make up. As a recap for this roundup’s purpose: there are so many journals publishing quality articles in the field of early American history that it is difficult, if not impossible, to keep up. So this list serves as a reminder that you need to catch up on new issues, a identify articles I found especially important, as well as a chance to highlight the work of young scholars and friends. Just because an article doesn’t make the list doesn’t mean I didn’t like it—in fact, I am way behind on my own reading—but it is an invitation to list your own favorite recent articles in the comments below.
The following articles were published between March and September, and obviously reflect my own interests and background. Also, remember the fantastic articles in the special WMQ issue on families and the Atlantic world that I highlighted a few months ago.
Patrick Bottiger, “Prophetstown for Their Own Purposes: The French, Miamis, and Cultural Identities in the Wabash–Maumee Valley,” Journal of the Early Republic 33, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 29-60.
Frontier? Violence? Natives? All hot right now! This is a fascinating look at how frontier societies cultivated a sphere where violence was used for various ends by various groups, and not just the logical expression of exceptionalism and expansionism. Individual violent acts, like the Battle of Tippecanoe, demonstrate how the Americans, the French, and the Miamis clashed in numerous ways that led to violence over other forms of diplomacy.
Nathalie Caron and Naomi Wulf, “American Enlightenments: Continuity and Renewal,” Journal of American History 99, no. 4 (2013): 172-191.
As the study of the Enlightenment in America continues to experience a revival, Caron and Wulf take a look at the progress. And characteristic of the new historiographical trends, they emphasize the “continuities” amongst slow transitions, and how paradoxical ideas and beliefs persisted in new cultures and contexts. And important example of the blending of cultural and intellectual history, this is a helpful introduction to a field under revision.
Cathy Matson and James N. Green, eds., “Ireland, America, and Mathew Carey,” Special Issue of Early American Studies 11, no. 3 (Fall 2013).
In an age where where we are all Atlanticists, the study of a figure like Mathew Carey offers special insight into the interconnected Anglo-American worlds in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. These papers, which were presented at a McNeil Center conference last year, all approach the fascinating publishing figure from various ways, all with fruitful results. A special shout-out to our own Joseph Adelman, whose “Trans-Atlantic Migration and the Printing Trade in Revolutionary America” is a smart look at how immigrant printers navigated different political contexts.
Daniel R. Mandell, “‘Turned Their Minds to Religion’: Oquaga and the First Iroquois Church, 1748-1776,” Early American Studies 11, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 211-242.
All of us have our own sources of anxiety. Mine is my ridiculous lack of knowledge of native religions in early America. So luckily articles like this, which build off of work like Linford Fisher’s, bridge the gap by not only expertly covering the topic, but persuasively placing it at the center of American religious history in general.
Caroline F. Sloat, ed., “A New Nation Votes and the Study of American Politics, 1789-1824,” Special Issue of Journal of the Early Republic 33, no. 2 (Summer 2013).
This special issue is dedicated to a new resource: the collection of election results from the early republic, which allows the on-the-ground material needed for the “New New Political History” everyone seems to rave about. Each of the essays offer intriguing insights that mesh research and theory. Most interesting to me was Rosemarie Zaggari’s “The Family Factor: Congressmen, Turnover, and the Burden of Public Service in the Early American Republic,” which eamines the familial strains brough by the early republic’s political culture.
Marissa Carrere, “‘Let Them Sink Into Oblivion’: Genealogical Form and Familial Forgetting in Susanna Rowson’s Reuben and Rachel,” Eighteenth-Century Studies 46, no. 2 (Winter 2013): 183-195.
I’m a sucker for early American literature, so I figured I had to include something that looks at the wonderful, exciting, dreadful novels of the young republic. Rowson’s work is always a treasure trove for more analysis, and this looks at the always-fascinating topic of sensibility in the postrevolutionary period.
Edward B. Rugemer, “The Development of Mastery and Race in the Comprehensive Slave Codes of the Greater Caribbean during the Seventeenth Century,” William and Mary Quarterly 70, no. 3 (July 2013).
Race and the Caribbean? What more could you ask for?
Ok, so I’m tired of typing analyses, so let me just point you to three other articles I enjoyed: Tim Verhoeven’s “In Defense of Civil and Religious Liberty: Anti-Sabbatarianism in the United States before the Civl War” (Church History), W. Caleb McDaniel’s “The Case of John L. Brown: Sex, Slavery and the Trials of a Transatlantic Abolitionist Campaign” (American Nineteenth Century History), and Daniel Dillard’s “‘The Delicious Sense of Foreignness: American Transcendentalism in the Atlantic” (American Nineteenth Century History). And, to keep up my tradition of egotism, I’ll also point out my recent article, “Early Mormon Patriarchy and the Paradoxes of Democratic Religiosity in Jacksonian America” (American Nineteenth Century History).
What articles stuck out to you from the past seven months? I’m especially interested in articles that aren’t found in the most popular journals in our field.