March Madness Call for Nominations

JMM16It’s the most wonderful time of the year here at The Junto, or the month of March Madness! As faithful readers will know, each year we engage in a spirited tournament of voting in some category related to early American history. Last year, it was primary sources. Find out what this year’s theme will be after the jump.

This time around, we’ve decided that our tournament will focus on journal articles. Here are our two big reasons for this decision: 1) for many of our students, articles are cheaper than books because they’re free. Articles become a way for students to get a taste of an author’s larger contribution and historiographical intervention. 2) Although we recognize that scholarly journals can and do pose access issues to non-academics, many journals are taking important steps to improve access, and we’re hoping that the tournament encourages further sharing of articles (on which, more soon!).

Nominations open today and close on Sunday at 5 p.m. EST. Check out the rules below and then add your nominations and seconds in the Comments section. Then, by the power of The Junto‘s bracketologists, we’ll put together tournament brackets, announce the brackets, and open it up for your votes in the very near future.

The Rules

1) Journal articles can be old or very recent, but should have appeared in a journal rather than an edited collection. If a journal article has been reprinted in an edited collection, however, please mention that in your nomination because it will make it easier for additional people to read it. As with last year, the point of this exercise is to create a giant list of sources–in this case, secondary sources–for research and teaching that encourage us all to think about access issues and how to be good historians.

2) All nominations must be made in the Comments section of this post.

3) If would be helpful if, in your nomination, you included one line about each of the articles you’re nominating. Do you use it for teaching? Did it make you rethink a particular historical moment? Tell us why you care about the article!

4) We ask that you nominate a maximum of three articles that have not yet been nominated. You may also “second” the nomination of three other articles that have already been nominated. If you were going to nominate articles already mentioned you may do so and they will be tallied as seconds.

5) Want to participate in extra nerding out on Twitter? Use the hashtag #JuntoMM16 (because, er, #JMM16 has been taken over by STEM people).

NB: Essentially, each voter can nominate and second up to six articles but only three can be new nominations. Given the number of comments posted last year, please state explicitly which of your articles count as nominations, and which count as seconds. (To see if one of your choices has already been nominated, go to Edit->Find in your browser and type in the name of the primary source.)

The Disclaimer

Like last year’s tournament, this is all meant to be taken in a spirit of fun. This tournament is not meant to bestow any kind of value judgment on individual works. If anything, it may be a reflection of the “favorite” articles of our readers; but that should not be thought of as implying that it reflects what our readers or this blog think is the “best” article. Last year’s competition inspired lots of interesting and entertaining conversations, and this year we’re hoping to hear from even more of you. We’ll be interspersing the tournament, and following it up, with reflections on articles and their place in the historical profession. Please feel free to join in in the comments, or to use the Twitter hashtag.

Our nominations

By the power invested in me by my fellow Juntoists, I hereby offer our preliminary list of nominations to start the competition.

Tom Cutterham nominates

Woody Holton, “Did Democracy Cause the Recession that Led to the Constitution?” Journal of American History 92:2 (Sept. 2005):442–469.

John P. Roche, “The Founding Fathers: A Reform Caucus in Action,” American Political Science Review 55:4 (Dec. 1961):799–816.

Carroll Smith Rosenberg, “The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations Between Women in Nineteenth Century America,” Signs 1:1 (Autumn 1975):1–29.

Rachel Herrmann nominates

Kathleen Brown,”‘Changed… into the Fashion of Man’: The Politics of Sexual Difference in a Seventeenth-Century Anglo-American Settlement,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 6:2 (Oct. 1995): 171–193.

Jill Lepore,”Historians Who Love Too Much: Reflections on Microhistory and Biography,” Journal of American History 88:1 (June 2001): 129–144.

Christopher Jones nominates

Jon Butler, “Enthusiasm Described and Decried: The Great Awakening as Interpretative Fiction,” Journal of American History 69:2 (Sept. 1982): 305–325.

Tracy Leavelle, “‘Bad Things’ and ‘Good Hearts’: Mediation, Meaning, and the Language of Illinois Christianity,” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture 76 (June 2007): 363–394.

Joseph Adelman nominates

Trish Loughran, “Disseminating Common Sense: Thomas Paine and the Problem of the Early National Bestseller,” American Literature 78, no. 1 (2006): 1–28.

Stephanie McCurry, “The Two Faces of Republicanism: Gender and Proslavery Politics in Antebellum South Carolina,” Journal of American History 78, no. 4 (1992): 1245–64.

James H. Merrell, “Second Thoughts on Colonial Historians and American Historians,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 69, no. 3 (2012): 451–512.

Christopher Minty nominates

Alfred F. Young, “George Robert Twelves Hewes (1742–1840): A Boston Shoemaker and the Memory of the American Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4 (Oct. 1981):561–623.

Barbara Clark Smith, “Beyond the Vote: The Limits of Deference in Colonial Politics,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 3, no. 2 (Fall 2005):341–362.

Alan Taylor, “‘The Art of Hook & Snivey’: Political Culture in Upstate New York during the 1790s,” Journal of American History, vol. 79, no. 4 (Mar., 1993):1371–1396.

Benjamin Park nominates

Woody Holton, “The Ohio Indians and the Coming of the American Revolution in Virginia,” Journal of Southern History, vol. 60, no. 3 (August 1994):453-478.

Rosemarie Zagarri, “The Rights of Man and Woman in Post-Revolutionary America,” William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 2 (April 1998):203-230.

Christopher Grasso, “Deist Monster: On Religious Common Sense in the Wake of the American Revolution,” Journal of American History, vol. 95, no. 2 (June 1995):43-68.

97 responses

  1. Nathan I. Huggins, “The Deforming Mirror of Truth: Slavery and the Master Narrative of American History,” Radical History Review 49 (1991): 25-48

    Barbara J. Fields, “Slavery, Race, and Ideology in the U.S.A.,” New Left Review 181 (May/June 1990): 95-118.

    [These first two articles are essential for recognizing the political stakes of early American history and for identifying the enduring political consequences of getting that story wrong.]

    Lerman, Nina E. “Categories of Difference, Categories of Power: Bringing Gender and Race to the History of Technology.” Technology & Culture 51 (October 2010): 893-918.

    [puts early 19th c. straw bonnet making and hand loom weaving at the center of a new history of technology that’s attentive to social categories of difference.]

  2. Morgan, Jennifer. “‘Some Could Suckle over their Shoulder’: Male Travelers, Female Bodies, and the Gendering of Racial Ideology, 1500-1700.” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 54, no. 1 (January 1997), 167-192.

    Camp, Stephanie M.H. “Black is Beautiful: An American History.” Journal of Southern History vol. 81, no. 3 (August 2015), 675-690.

  3. Not to exert any undue influence or whatever, but I hope people will consider nominating some more classics from the 60s. Gordon Wood’s “Rhetoric and Reality” and Jesse Lemisch’s “Jack Tar in the Streets” definitely need to be in the competition!

  4. Joanne Freeman, “Dueling as Politics: Reinterpreting the Burr-Hamilton Duel,” William and Mary Quarterly, 53 (1995): 294 (later incorporated as chapter 4 in her “Affairs of Honor”). This article illustrates very clearly how 18th century classical notions of politics differ from today. Without this understanding, very little of how the Founding generation acted can be well understood, so in this sense it’s an essential foundation of teaching 18th century political history. Personally it reignited my interest in the Founders and the era by revealing additional layers of complexity.

  5. Great idea for March Madness! And there are several articles above that have greatly influenced my thinking and that of my students.

    The William and Mary Quarterly (WMQ) did a similar exercise in 1993, on the 50th anniversary of the 3rd series, that is, when the WMQ moved from being Virginia-centric to encompassing early American more broadly. The WMQ surveyed readers to come up with their most interesting or favorite or influential nominations, and then compiled the results. The original idea was for ten articles, but there was a tie, so the volume included a top ten that went to 11 (maybe a reference to Nigel Tufnel in the movie Spinal Tap?).

    Here’s the volume:

    Institute of Early American History and Culture (Williamsburg, Va.), College of William and Mary, and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. In Search of Early America: The William & Mary Quarterly,1943-1993. Williamsburg, Va.: Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1993.

    And here are the articles included:
    Errand into the wilderness / Perry Miller — Men of little faith: the Anti-Federalists on the nature of representative government / Cecelia M. Kenyon — The American Revolution: revisions in need of revising / Edmund S. Morgan — Rhetoric and reality in the American Revolution / Gordon S. Wood — The Puritan ethic and the American Revolution / Edmund S. Morgan — Jack Tar in the streets: merchant seamen in the politics of revolutionary America / Jesse Lemisch — Popular uprisings and civil authority in eighteenth-century America / Pauline Maier — Evangelical revolt: the nature of the Baptists’ challenge to the traditional order in Virginia, 1765 to 1775 / Rhys Isaac — The planter’s wife: the experience of white women in seventeenth-century Maryland / Lois Green Carr, Lorena S. Walsh — Families and farms: mentalité in pre-industrial America / James A. Henretta — George Robert Twelves Hewes (1742-1840): a Boston shoemaker and the memory of the American Revolution / Alfred F. Young.

    A couple of these have already been nominated for #JMM16.

    Anyhoo, I’ll just add one to the kitty, from that venerable list

    Lemisch, Jesse. “Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America.” The William and Mary Quarterly 25, no. 3 (July 1968): 371–407.

    I first encountered this article in an anthology in an AP history class in 1985. From the hook of its very first line, it completely changed the way I thought about who history could be about, how it could be done, and what its ideological implications could be. And it’s done the same for some of my students, undergraduate and graduate.

      • Thanks, Michael. I had just meant to nominate the Lemisch article, but also wanted to mention the results of the previous time a similar survey was taken. It’ll be interesting what this year’s, say, Sweet 16 is in terms of subject matter, author diversity, etc. compared to the ’93 Top 11 results.

  6. Woody Holton, “‘Rebel against rebel’: Enslaved Virginians and the Coming of the American Revolution,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 105, no. 2 (Spring 1997): 157-192.

    David Waldstreicher, “Reading the Runaways: Self-Fashioning, Print Culture, and Confidence in Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century Mid-Atlantic,” William and Mary Quarterly 56, no. 2 (April 1999): 243-272.

    Edmund S. Morgan, “Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox,” Journal of American History 59, no. 1 (June 1972): 5-29.

    All three are incredibly influential and interesting, providing much of the foundation for a book project later on.

  7. My original nominations are all historiographical…


    Jesse Lemisch, “Bailyn Besieged in His Bunker.” Radical History Review, no. 13 (1977): 72-83. [No comment necessary]

    Brendan McConville, “Early America in a New Century: Decline, Disorder, and the State of Early American History,” Journal of the Historical Society 5, no. 4 (2005): 461-482. [Excellent survey of where the field has been and where it was going from a variety of angles beyond historiography]

    Daniel T. Rodgers, “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept,” The Journal of American History 79, no. 1 (1992): 11-38. [The final nail in a coffin that took a very long time to build.]


    Young, “George Robert Twelve Hewes”
    Freeman, “Dueling as Politics”
    Lemisch, “Jack Tar in the Streets”

    *with the caveat that, if it were possible, I’d nominate the entire 1994 WMQ forum on Wood’s Radicalism.

  8. Gary B. Nash, “The Transformation of Urban Politics, 1700–1765,” Journal of American History, 60 (Dec. 1973), 605–632.

    James H. Merrell, “The Racial Education of the Catawba Indians,” Journal of Southern History 50 (Aug., 1984): 363–384.

    Bernard Bailyn, “The Idea of Atlantic History”, Itinerario 20 (1996), 19–44.

    I’ll second Ed Morgan, “Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox,” Daniel Rodgers, “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept,” and Jennifer Morgan, “Some Could Suckle over their Shoulder.”

  9. Nominating:
    Toby L. Ditz, “Shipwrecked; or, Masculinity Imperiled: Mercantile Representations of Failure and the Gendered Self in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia” Journal of American History 81, no. 1 (June 1994): 51-80.
    Cornelia Hughes Dayton, “Taking the Trade: Abortion and Gender Relations in an Eighteenth-Century New England Village,” William and Mary Quarterly 48, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 19-49.

    Morgan, “Some Could Suckle Over Their Shoulder”
    Zagarri, “The Rights of Man and Woman”

  10. Nominating:

    Bushman, Richard Lyman. “Markets and Composite Farms in Early America.” The William and Mary Quarterly 55, no. 3 (July 1998): 351-374.

    Wood, Gordon S. “Rhetoric and Reality in the American Revolution.” The William and Mary Quarterly 23, no. 1 (1966): 4–32.

    Calloway, Colin G. “‘We Have Always Been the Frontier’: The American Revolution in Shawnee Country.” American Indian Quarterly 16, no. 1 (January 1, 1992): 39–52. doi:10.2307/1185604.


  11. Does it have to be published in a journal to be considered? If not I nominate

    “Patriots of Color: A Peculiar Beauty and Merit” by George Quintal Jr, which is a report/biography/essay done on the men of color who fought at Battle Road and Bunker Hill. The report was done for Minuteman National Park and completed in 2004 so is a bit out of date but as far as I know it’s the most current research on the subject.

    Click to access patriotsofcolor.pdf

    I’ll think some more about what other articles I want to nominate and add them in later, but I tend to read full length books more than articles or collections of essays.

    I second:

    Lemisch, Jack “Jack Tar in the Streets: Merchant Seamen in the Politics of Revolutionary America” The William and Mary Quarterly
    Vol. 25, No. 3 (Jul., 1968), pp. 371-407 (this was one of the first articles I thought of nominating actually)

    Alfred F. Young, “George Robert Twelves Hewes (1742–1840): A Boston Shoemaker and the Memory of the American Revolution,” William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 38, no. 4 (Oct. 1981):561–623.

    Gary B. Nash, “The Transformation of Urban Politics, 1700–1765,” Journal of American History, 60 (Dec. 1973), 605–632.

  12. Pekka Hämäläinen. 2010. “The Politics of Grass: European Expansion, Ecological Change, and Indigenous Power in the Southwest Borderlands”. The William and Mary Quarterly 67 (2). Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture: 173–208.

    Johnson Walter. “The White Slave, the Slave Trader, and the Politics of Racial Determination in the 1850s South.” Journal of American History. 2000;87(1):13-38.

    Furstenberg, Francois. “Beyond Slavery and Freedom: Autonomy, Agency, and Resistance in
    Early American Political Discourse.” The Journal of American History 89:4
    (March, 2003), 1295-1330.

  13. George Van Cleve, “Somerset’s Case and Its Antecedents in Imperial Perspective,” Law and History Review 24:3 (Fall 2003), 601-45.

    Frederick Dalzell, “Prudence and the Golden Egg: Establishing the Federal Government in
    Providence, Rhode Island,” NEQ 65:3 (September 1992), 355-88.

    Linford Fisher, “Indian Baptism and Conversion in the Roger Williams Code,” WMQ 71:2 (April 2014), 175-202.

    Linford Fisher, “‘Dangerous Designes:’ The 1676 Barbados Act to Prohibit New England Indian Slave Importation,” WMQ 71:1 (January 2014), 99-124.

    Allan Greer, “Commons and Enclosure
    in the Colonization of North America,” AHR 117:2 (April 2012), 365-86.

    Cole Jones, “‘Displaying the Ensigns of Harmony:’ The French Army in Newport, Rhode
    Island, 1780-81” NEQ 85:3 (September 2012), 430-67.

    Sabine Klein, “Shires and Sachems: Languages of Political Theory in English and Dutch Narratives of Contact,” Early American Literature 43:3 (2008), 535-55.

    Daniel Lee, “Popular Liberty, Princely Government, and the Roman Law in Hugo Grotius’s De Jure Belli ac PacisJournal of the History of Ideas 72:3 (July 2011), 371-92.

    Jason Mancini, “’In Contempt and Oblivion:’ Censuses, Ethnogeography, and Hidden Indian Histories in Eighteenth-Century Southern New England” Ethnohistory 62:1 (January 2015), 61-94.

    Benjamin Wilcox, “Published By Authority: A Case of Anonymous Authorship in Pre-Revolutionary Rhode Island,” Tempus 13:1 (Spring 2012), 1-16.

    2011 WMQ and EAS articles on the Pequot War; 2011 WMQ “Critical Forum” on Freedom Bound; 2006 “Slavery and Justice: Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice;” for a component of a post-1941 U.S. History course, I’m teaching (among many other publications) Bernard Bailyn, “Political Experience and Enlightenment Ideas in Eighteenth-Century America,” AHR 67:2 (January 1962), 339-51 [published prior to Hofstadter’s thesis in the 1964 Harper’s Magazine].

    • Egad! Two More:
      John Donoghue, ” ‘Out of the Land of Bondage:’ The English Revolution and the Atlantic Origins of Abolition,” AHR 115:4 (October 2010), 943-74.

      Gregory E. O’Malley, “Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Migration from the Caribbean to North America, 1619–1807,” WMQ 66:1 (January 2009), 125-72.

      Second: R. Bushman, “Markets and Composite Farms”

    • Sorry, nominated:

      Allan Greer, “Commons and Enclosure
      in the Colonization of North America,” AHR 117:2 (April 2012), 365-86.

      Linford Fisher, “Indian Baptism and Conversion in the Roger Williams Code,” WMQ 71:2 (April 2014), 175-202.

      Gregory E. O’Malley, “Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Migration from the Caribbean to North America, 1619–1807,” WMQ 66:1 (January 2009), 125-72.

      Second: Meranze, Bushman

    • Bancroft-winner Andrew Lipman’s “Murder on the Saltwater Frontier: The Death of John Oldham” appeared in the Spring 2011 “Pequot Warres” special issue of EAS (above). This issue also featured nominee Alison Games.

      Bancroft-winner Mary Bilder’s previous publications offered a wealth of evidence on jurists such as Edward Coke and the “unwritten constitution,” Privy Council petitions, RI case law, the RI Charter, the Newport Library bylaws, etc., that substantiated what “I [Bilder] call the transatlantic constitution.”

  14. Jacqueline Peterson, “Prelude to Red River: A Social Portrait of the Great Lakes Metis,” Ethnohistory 25 (Winter, 1978), 41-67. [Opened a whole new social world to early American historians, and helped pave the way for Richard White’s more famous work on the complexities of Great Lakes colonial history.]

    Herbert E. Bolton, “The Epic of Greater America,” The American Historical Review, 38 (Apr., 1933), 448-474. [A remarkably prescient AHA presidential address little-heeded in its time but now seen as essential, for all its faults, to conceptualizing a genuinely hemispheric perspective on American history.]

    Michael Meranze, “Culture and Governance: Reflections on the Cultural History of Eighteenth-Century British America.” The William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 65, No. 4 (Oct., 2008), pp. 713-744. [A brilliant articulation of why and how the study of texts/meaning/symbols remains vital to early American history after the decline of the cultural turn.]

  15. Seconding (all alliteration accidental):

    Freeman, Fisher, Furstenberg.


    David D. Hall, “The Mental World of Samuel Sewall,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 3d Ser., 92 (1980): 21-44. Powerful insight into the days & nights of a prominent Puritan.

    Wayne Bodle, “The ‘Myth of the Middle Colonies’ Reconsidered: The Process of Regionalization in Early America,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 113 (1989): 527-548. Nota bene, grad students, this article is a fine brief on the region’s historiographical issues for comps.

    Linda K. Kerber, “Separate Spheres, Female Worlds, Woman’s Place: The Rhetoric of Women’s History,” The Journal of American History 75 (1988): 9-39. Nuanced blend of primary and secondary sources, plus new ideas on the social construction of womanhood in the early republic.

  16. Thank you to everyone for such extensive lists, this has left me with a lot to read, (or-reread), and add to my syllabi.

    I’ll second Bodle and Greer.

    For recommendations, I’ll suggest three from the realm of military history, which seems underrepresented so far.

    Edward C. Papenfuse and Gregory A. Stiverson, “General Smallwood’s Recruits: The Peacetime Career of the Revolutionary War Private,” WMQ, 1973. {A good introduction to the question of social origins and military service in the War of Independence, which has garnered a lot of scholarship in recent decades}

    Michael A. McDonnell, “Class War? Class Struggles during the American Revolution in Virginia” WMQ, 2006. {Covers the same ground as his fantastic book, The Politics of War, but in a format a bit more digestible, especially for undergrads. Good for discussing concepts such as ‘Revolution from below,’ and ‘Civil War within a Revolution?’

    Ann M. Becker, “Smallpox in Washington’s Army: Strategic Implications of Disease during the American Revolutionary War” The Journal of Military History, 2004. {Covers the important topic of disease during wartime, useful for adding a new perspective to the sometimes tired study of wartime strategy}

    There are of course many more, but I’ll stop with these.

    While I can’t nominate a fourth, I’m a bit surprised no one has yet mentioned T.H. Breen’s “Baubles of Britain” article (unless I’ve missed it above).

  17. Because my interest in early American history comes from the outside (i.e. from looking at the U.S. from the Caribbean), I nominate three recent articles that have helped me think of the U.S. in Caribbean, hemispheric, and Atlantic contexts:
    – Alejandra Dubcovsky, “One Hundred Sixty-One Knots, Two Plates, and One Emperor: Creek Information Networks in the Era of the Yamasee War,” Ethnohistory 59:3 (Summer 2012), 489-513.
    – Mongey, Vanessa, “A Tale of Two Brothers: Haiti’s Other Revolutions,” The Americas, 69:1 (July 2012), 37-60.
    – Caitlin Fitz, “The Hemispheric Dimensions of Early U.S. Nationalism: The War of 1812, Its Aftermath, and Spanish American Independence,” Journal of American History 102:2 (Sep. 2015), 356-379.

  18. Considering the number of works (and titles) of early American history that now gesture toward Atlantic History, I think that at least one article trying to define that field should be in the tourney:
    -Alison Games, “Atlantic History: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities,” AHR, 2006.

    -Chris Evans, “The Plantation Hoe: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Commodity,” WMQ, 2012.
    -Ada Ferrer, “Haiti, Free Soil, and Antislavery in the Revolutionary Atlantic,” AHR, 2012.

  19. The ones I’ve used most frequently in class and haven’t yet been nominated are

    Daniel Richter, “War and Culture: The Iroquois Experience” (WMQ 40 (1983), p. 582-559);

    T.H. Breen, “Baubles of Britain: The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century” (P&P 119 (1988), 73-104); and

    Walter Johnson, “On Agency” (Journal of Social History 37 (2003), 113-124)

  20. So much great stuff on the list already. A few other favorites for my own thinking and for teaching:

    Rosemarie Zagarri, “The Significance of the ‘Global Turn’ for the Early American Republic,” JER (Spring 2011)
    Maya Jasanoff, “The Other Side of Revolution: Loyalists in the British Empire,” WMQ (April 2008)
    Edward E. Baptist, “’Cuffy,’ ‘Fancy Maids,’ and ‘One-Eyed Men’: Rape, Commodification, and the Domestic Slave Trade in the United States,” The American Historical Review, Vol. 106, No. 5 (Dec., 2001)

    Seconding: Jennifer Morgan, Fitz, Lepore

  21. Alan Taylor, “The Early Republic’s Supernatural Economy: Treasure Seeking in the American Northeast, 1780-1830” American Quarterly 38:1 (Spring 1986)

    Daniel Walker Howe, “The Evangelical Movement and Political Culture in the North During the Second Party System,” Journal of American History 77:4 (March 1991)

    Juliana Barr, “From Captives to Slaves: Commodifying Indian Women in the Borderlands” Journal of American History 92:1 (June 2005)

  22. Seconding: Young and Dayton
    Christopher L. Brown, “Empire Without Slaves: British Concepts of Emancipation in the Age of the American Revolution,” WMQ Vol. 56; no. 2; pp. 273 – 306. This article, along with Morgan “American Paradox” and Holton “Rebel against Rebel,” makes for a fabulous classroom discussion every time.

  23. Nominate:

    Nathalie Caron and Naomi Wulf, “American Enlightenments,” JAH 99:4 (2013), 1072-1091.

    Christine DeLucia, “The Memory Frontier: Uncommon Pursuits of Past and Place in the Northeast After King Philip’s War,” JAH 98:4 (March 2012), 957-94.

    • Maud: David Silverman’s “Curse of God,” Joanne Pope Melish’s “Condition Debate,” or John Sainsbury’s “Indian Labor in Early RI” as a third? *Not to exert any undue influence or whatever.*

    • Maud: A couple more suggestions for your third–
      Ruth Herndon and Ella Sekatau, “The Right to a Name: The Narragansett People and Rhode Island Officials in the Revolutionary Era,” Ethnohistory 44:3 (Summer 1997), 433-62 [2015 Mancini response above, but I’ve seen this article assigned on syllabi].
      Hilary Wyss, “Mary Occom and Sarah Simon: Gender and Native Literacy in Colonial New England,” NEQ 79:3 (September 2006), 387-412.
      *Not to exert any undue influence or whatever.*

      • Exert due influence!

        Nominate: Loren Schweninger, “Freedom Suits, African American Women, and the Genealogy of Slavery,” WMQ 71:1 (January 2014), 35-62.
        Second: O’Malley, Fisher, Zagarri

  24. Nominating
    Vincent Brown, Social Death and Political Life in the Study of Slavery, Social Death and Political Life in the Study of Slavery. American Historical Review. 2009;114(No. 5 (December):1231-1249.

  25. Second:
    Barbara J. Fields, “Slavery, Race, and Ideology in the U.S.A.”

    Pekka Hämäläinen, “The Politics of Grass”

    Alejandra Dubcovsky, “One Hundred Sixty-One Knots, Two Plates, and One Emperor”

    Brian Delay, “Independent Indians and the U.S.-Mexican War,” American Historical Review 112:1 (February 2007): 35–68.

    Robin Einhorn, “Institutional Reality in the Age of Slavery: Taxation and Democracy in the States,” Journal of Policy History 18 (Winter 2006): 21–43.

    Gautham Rao, “The Federal Posse Comitatus Doctrine: Slavery, Compulsion, and Statecraft in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America,” Law and History Review 26 (Spring 2008): 1–56.

  26. I’d like to second Al Young’s George Twelve Hewes piece. This had been floating around for a while before publication. Al was always so wonderfully enthusiastic about what he was working on–with good reason–be it Hewes or Deborah Sampson. This piece was a revelation. Strangely, I found the book flat and much preferred the article to the book.

    And nominate two other pieces:

    The incorrigible “bastard from the bush” (self-styled) and greatly lamented Rhys Isaac’s “Dramatizing the Ideology of the Revolution” WMQ 33(1976): 357-85. (just picking almost at random one of those WMQ articles that galvanised the entire field in the 1970s)

    And to my mind one of the great synthetic articles. You’d hardly claim Ira Berlin was unfamiliar with primary sources but he is truly wonderful at massaging other people’s work into a new story. When some people quote and cite your work, you feel brutalised, but Ira has always managed to take, for example, my work and see things in it that I never did. Berlin thus becomes your ideal reader. So the article is: “Time, Space and the Evolution of Afro American Society on British Mainland North America” AHR (Feb. 1980), 44-78.
    cheers shane

    Shane White
    Challis Professor of History
    University of Sydney

  27. There’s something to be said for for getting entries in early! I seconded articles above.

    Here, let me nominate 3:

    1. James Kloppenberg, “The Virtues of Liberalism: Christianity, Republicanism, and Ethics in Early American Political Discourse,” JAH 74 (June 1987): 9-33. For me, this has always seemed a strong synthesis of the multiple discourses involved in the Revolutionary era.

    2. A very classic article that still teaches incredibly well: John Murrin, “The French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Counterfactual Hypothesis: Reflections on Lawrence Henry Gipson and John Shy,” Reviews in American History 1 (1973-74): 307-318.

    3. I’ll open the door for the Dark Horse: John Fea’s “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment,” Journal of American History 90:2 (September 2003).

  28. All nominations.
    Kathleen Wilson, “Rethinking the Colonial State: Family, Gender, and Governmentality in Eighteenth-Century British Frontiers,” American Historical Review 116, no. 5 (2011):1294-1322.
    *Substantially reinterprets the axes of statecraft in early America. I’ve found this immensely useful for my research and for teaching, especially at the graduate level.

    Eliga Gould, “Zones of Law, Zones of Violence: The Legal Geography of the British Atlantic, circa 1772,” William and Mary Quarterly 60, no. 3 (Jul., 2003):471-500.
    Reinterprets the dialectical relationship between metropolitan governments and areas in the Atlantic subject to yet still resistant of imperial power. I’ve been thinking on this one for years and continue to do so.

    Hendrik Hartog, “Pigs and Positivism,” Wisconsin Law Review, 1985 Wis. L. Rev. 899 (1985).
    Perhaps my favorite article to teach because it makes vivid the conflict between customary law, social and economic norms, and formal legal institutions. And it is about pigs.

  29. How about two great articles from Annales in the same 2012 issue (since they’re available in English translation)?

    Cécile Vidal, “For a Comprehensive History of the Atlantic World or Histories Connected In and Beyond the Atlantic World?”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition) 67, no. 2 (April-June 2012): 279-300.
    (A great critical essay on Atlantic history)

    Will Slauter, “The Paragraph as Information Technology: How News Traveled in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World”, Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition) 67, no. 2 (April-June 2012): 253-278.

    Those are my nominations. And I second Gautham Rao’s wonderful “Posse Comitatus”: Southerners loved the state, after all!

  30. Not sure if there are copies, but here are my two

    David Schley, “Tracks in the Streets: Railroads, Infrastructure, and Urban Space in Baltimore, 1828-1840,” Journal of Urban History 39 (2013)
    Molly Warsh, “Political Ecology in the Spanish Caribbean,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 71, no. 4 (Oct. 2014), 517–50.

  31. I nominate: Kerber, Linda. 1976. “The Republican Mother: Women and the Enlightenment-an American Perspective”. American Quarterly 28 (2). Johns Hopkins University Press: 187–205.

  32. Nominate: James Merrell, “The Indians New World,” William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Oct., 1984), pp. 538-565. Been using it in my U.S. survey course for 15 years. Teaches very wel

    Second Sung Bok Kim

    Second Bodle

    Nominate: John Murrin, “No Awakening, No Revolution? More Counterfactual Speculations
    Reviews in American History, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jun., 1983), pp. 161-171

  33. I nominate:

    Laurent Dubois, “An Enslaved Enlightenment: Rethinking the Intellectual History of the French Atlantic,” Social History, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Feb., 2006), pp. 1-14.”

    Daniel Rood, “Bogs of Death: Slavery, the Brazilian Flour Trade, and the Mystery of the Vanishing Millpond in Antebellum Virginia,” Journal of American History (2014) 101 (1): 19-43.

  34. I second the nomination for John Fea’s “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment,” Journal of American History 90:2 (September 2003)

  35. Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, “From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History,” American Historical Review (1999).

    Elizabeth Fenn, “Biological Warfare in Eighteenth-Century North America: Beyond Jeffery Amherst,” Journal of American History (2000).

    Timothy Shannon, “Dressing for Success on the Mohawk Frontier: Hendrick, William Johnson, and the Indian Fashion,” William and Mary Quarterly (1996).

  36. Christopher Grasso and Karin Wulf, “Nothing Says ‘Democracy’ Like a Visit from the Queen: Reflections on Empire and Nation in Early American Histories.” Journal of American History Vol. 95: No. 3 (December 2008): 764-781.

    Pekka Hamalainen, “The Politics of Grass: European Expansion, Ecological Change, and Indigenous Power in the Southwest Borderlands.” William & Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, Vol. 67: No. 2 (April 2010): 173-208.

    Brett Rushforth, “‘A Little Flesh We Offer You’: The Origins of Indian Slavery in New France,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser., 60 (Oct. 2003): 777-808.

    Ann Laura Stoler, “Tense and Tender Ties: The Politics of Comparison in North American History and Post-Colonial Studies.” Journal of American History 88:3 (December 2001): 829-865.

    Rosemarie Zagarri, “The Significance of the ‘Global Turn’ for the Early American Republic: Globalization in the Age of Nation-Building.” Journal of the Early Republic Vol. 31: No. 1 (Spring 2011): 1-37.

  37. While I second anything by Rosemarie Zagarri, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Linda Kerber, and John Fea, I also nominate Mark M. Smith, “Culture, Commerce, and Calendar Reform,” WMQ Vol. 55, No. 4 (Oct. 1998): 557-584. Smith does an excellent job of turning an assumption into a question and then showing us all how unfounded our conventional wisdom can sometimes be.

  38. Nominate:
    Carr, Lois Green, and Lorena S. Walsh. 1977. “The Planter’s Wife: The Experience of White Women in Seventeenth-century Maryland”. The William and Mary Quarterly 34 (4). Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture: 542–71. doi:10.2307/2936182.

    LANDSMAN, NED C.. 2004. “Roots, Routes, and Rootedness: Diversity, Migration, and Toleration in Mid-atlantic Pluralism”. Early American Studies 2 (2). University of Pennsylvania Press: 267–309.

    Ginzburg, Carlo, John Tedeschi, and Anne C. Tedeschi. 1993. “Microhistory: Two or Three Things That I Know About It”. Critical Inquiry 20 (1). University of Chicago Press: 10–35.

    Fea, John. 2003. “The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian’s Rural Enlightenment”. The Journal of American History 90 (2). [Oxford University Press, Organization of American Historians]: 462–90. doi:10.2307/3659441.

    Rodgers, Daniel T.. 1992. “Republicanism: The Career of a Concept”. The Journal of American History 79 (1). [Oxford University Press, Organization of American Historians]: 11–38. doi:10.2307/2078466.

    James H. Merrell. 2012. “Second Thoughts on Colonial Historians and American Indians”. The William and Mary Quarterly 69 (3). Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture: 451–512. doi:10.5309/willmaryquar.69.3.0451.

  39. Last nomination:
    Christopher M. Parsons and Kathleen S. Murphy, “Ecosystems under Sail: Specimen Transport in the Eighteenth-Century French and British Atlantics,” Early American Studies, 10, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 503-29.

    Johnson, Stoler, Warsh

  40. My seconds: Huggins, “Deforming Mirror”; Fields, “Slavery, Race, and Ideology”; Waldstreicher, “Reading the Runaways”.

  41. Nominate:

    Carole Shammas, “Anglo-American Household Government in Comparative Perspective,” WMQ 52 1 (Jan., 1995), 104-44. Helped build the study of the politics of the household, where so many meaningful questions of power are located.

    Claudio Saunt, “Go West: Mapping Early American Historiography,” WMQ 65 4 (Oct., 2008), 745-778. Useful for seminars; allows students to “see” historiography and engage with bias.

    Nicole Eustace, “The Sentimental Paradox: Humanity and Violence on the Pennsylvania Frontier,” WMQ 65 1 (Jan., 2008), 29-64. Wonderful demonstration of how to put the history of emotions into play.


    Richter, “War and Culture”
    Loughran, “Disseminating Common Sense”
    Waldstreicher, “Reading the Runaways”

    For next year’s contest may I suggest we go with 64 sources of visual culture? Paintings, maps, cartoons, etc. Thanks, Junto!

  42. I know there’s another Barr article that’s been nominated (and seconded), but I’d really like to put up her WMQ piece:
    Juliana Barr, “Geographies of Power: Mapping Indian Borders in the ‘Borderlands’ of the Early Southwest” WMQ (January 2011).

    I’ll second Breen’s “Baubles”, Hämäläinen’s “Politics of Grass”, and Fenn’s “Biological Warfare.”

  43. I really appreciate reading a scholar working through a discrete intellectual problem– that’s how I think of the journal article genre and its utility for historical scholarship. Also, I like to offer students a piece that is a part, an essay that gives them a glimpse either of a larger phenomenon in the literature or in the wider historical world they’re exploring. Plus, isn’t this exercise about drawing our attention in different directions?

    In this spirit, I nominate:

    Linda Kerber, “Women and Individualism in American History,” _Massachusetts Review_ 30:4 (Winter, 1989), pp. 589-609. This is in a series (including a 1983 piece in _Texas Studies in Literature and Language_ on “Can a Woman be an Individual?” and her 1992 _American Historical Review_ essay, “The Paradox of Women’s Citizenship in the Early Republic: the Case of Martin v. Massachusetts, 1805”) where Kerber worries at the rough boundaries of gender and liberalism.

    Billy G. Smith, “Inequality in Late Colonial Philadelphia: A Note on its Nature and Growth,” _William and Mary Quarterly_ 41:4 (Oct. 1984), pp. 629-645. Another one in a long run of pieces considering the commercial economy the implications of its development for working men and women– and the go to of Smithiana, I think.

    David Shields, “The Letters of George Ogilvie,” _The Southern Literary Journal_ 18 (1986), pp. 113-116. Shields has been a central figure in early American literature, and his early work on specific literary pieces may be less well known that his work collectively on belles lettres (or lately, food, photography, and the history of body building!) but it’s so well worth reading.

    If I could nominate 25 more, it would be comparative works in early modern Europe, Latin America or elsewhere that have shaped the early American field. I’d offer works in the much wider geography and chronology of early America than I’ve circled around above (18th c British America), and I’d wonder about the theoretical works that have so influenced us all.

    Yes, I really do read articles published in the last 2 decades. I’d second everything on the list above– what an inspiring collection. Thanks for a fun challenge!

  44. I’m approaching this from a teaching perspective.

    My three nominations are ones I’ve found work well with undergraduates:
    1) Neal Salisbury, “The Indians’ Old World: Native Americans and the Coming of Europeans,” The William and Mary Quarterly 53, no. 3 (1996): 435-458. A good way to kick off the semester
    2) Wendy Anne Warren, “‘The Cause of Her Grief’: The Rape of a Slave in Early New England,” Journal of American History, 93, no. 4 (March 2007), 1031-49. Always sparks a vigorous discussion about the methods of historians and the goals of history.
    3) Virginia DeJohn Anderson, “King Philip’s Herds: Indians, Colonists, and the Problem of Livestock in Early New England,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 51, no. 4 (October 1994), 601-624.

    I second the following nominations:
    T.H. Breen, “Baubles of Britain”
    Walter Johnson, “On Agency”
    Claudio Saunt, “Go West: Mapping Early American Historiography”

  45. James B. Stewart, “Reconsidering the Abolitionists in an Age of Fundamentalist Politics,”
    Journal of the Early Republic 26 (Spring 2006): 1–24.

    Robin L. Einhorn, “Patrick Henry’s Case Against the Constitution: The Structural Problem With Slavery,” Journal of the Early Republic 22 (2002): 549-73.

    Kenneth S. Greenberg, “The Nose, the Lie, and the Duel in the Antebellum South,” American Historical Review 95 (Feb. 1990), 57-74.

    Second: McCurry, “Two Faces of Republicanism;” Rao, “Federal Posse Comitatus Doctrine;” Morgan, “Slavery and Freedom”

  46. Stephanie M.H. Camp, “The Pleasures of Resistance: Enslaved Women and Body Politics in the Plantation South, 1830–1861,” Journal of Southern History 68, no. 3 (August 2002)

    Joshua D. Rothman, “The Hazards of the Flush Times: Gambling, Mob Violence, and the Anxieties of America’s Market Revolution,” Journal of American History 95, no. 3 (December 2008): 651–77.

    Mark A. Peterson, “Puritanism and Refinement in Early New England: Reflections on Communion Silver,” William & Mary Quarterly 58, no. 2 (April 2001): 307.

    Second, Nathan I. Huggins, “The Deforming Mirror of Truth: Slavery and the Master Narrative of American History,” Radical History Review 49 (1991): 25-48

    Second, Brian Delay, “Independent Indians and the U.S.-Mexican War,” American Historical Review 112:1 (February 2007): 35–68.

  47. Pingback: March Madness 2016 at the Junto – The Panorama


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