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David Center for the American Revolution Seminar Series

The David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society is pleased to announce the launch of the David Center Seminar, which will serve as a forum for works-in-progress that explore topics in the era of the American Revolution (1750-1820).

Inspired by the work of the David Library of the American Revolution at Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania and its new incarnation as the David Center for the American Revolution at the American Philosophical Society (DCAR;, we welcome proposals from individuals focusing on any aspect of the American Revolution and its era, especially the cause, course, consequence, and experiences of the event (1750-1820). The seminar is open to graduate students, faculty members, independent scholars, public historians, and others engaged in scholarly endeavors that relate to the era of the American Revolution. To maximize time for discussion, papers are circulated electronically in advance.

The seminar meets once a month on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00 p.m. ET beginning in March 2021. All meetings in 2021 will be held on Zoom. The seminar strives to create a collegial environment that will bring together scholars of the era from around the world to support fellow colleagues’ work, share knowledge, and advance scholarship.

Requests to receive access to the paper or to present work-in-progress should be sent to Adrianna Link, Head of Scholarly Programs, at [email protected] 

2021-2022 Seminar Series

The APS's Library & Museum is currently accepting proposals for the 2021-2022 David Center Seminar Series.

To submit a proposal, please email a one-page proposal, a brief statement (2-3 sentences) explaining how this paper relates to your other work, and a brief CV by August 29, 2021 to [email protected].

Spring 2022 Schedule

Wednesday, February 23: James M. Banner, Jr. (Independent Scholar), “The Election of 1801 and Marbury v. Madison." Register here to attend.

Wednesday, March 16: Wolfgang Hochbruck (Albert-Ludwigs-University), "A Colonial Gentleman's Pastimes on the Brink of a Revolution." Register here to attend.

Wednesday, April 13: Annette Joseph-Gabriel (Michigan), "The Pursuit of Happiness: Enslaved Children's Notions of Freedom in the Age of Revolution." Register here to attend.

Wednesday, May 25: Samuel Wells (Southern Utah University & Dixie State University), "Dr. Miner's Heresy: Freedom of Conscience, Polygamy, and the American Revolution." Register here to attend.

Wednesday, June 8: Grant Kleiser (Columbia University), "'To Have America a Free Port:' Revolutionary Responses to British Caribbean Free Ports, 1766-1784." Register here to attend.

Fall 2021 Schedule

Wednesday, October 27: Bryan Rindfleisch (Marquette University), “Metawney of Coweta, Muscogee Women, & Historical Erasure in the Eighteenth-Century Past and Our Present." Register here to attend

Tuesday, November 16: Matthew Mason (Brigham Young University), “Slavery and the Politics of Honor in the American Revolutionary Era." Register here to attend

Wednesday, December 15: Sarah Naramore (Northwest Missouri State University), “Finding American Medicine on the Battlefield: Doctors in Uniform and in the Classroom." Register here to attend.


Past Seminars

Spring 2021 Schedule

Wednesday, March 24: Jonathan D. Sassi (College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, City University of New York), “The New Jersey Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery: A Reappraisal." Register here to attend

Wednesday, May 26: Alexi Garrett (Iona College), “Rhetorical Strategies and Enslaved Property in the Loyalist Claims of Virginia’s Feme Soles.” Register here to attend.

Wednesday, June 23: Donovan Fifield (University of Virginia), "Credit and Imperial Crises in the American Urban Northeast, 1739-1775.” Register here to attend.

About the David Center for the American Revolution

The David Center for the American Revolution integrates the rich manuscript, microfilm, and print collections of the David Library with the early American history collections of the APS to create a one-stop-shop for the study of the American Revolution. The David Library collections consist of approximately 8,000 volumes, 9,000 reels of microfilm, and the large Sol Feinstone manuscript collection. The Sol Feinstone Collection, a rich collection of letters and documents, was assembled by DLAR Founder Sol Feinstone (1888-1980) over a period of fifty years. It includes material on almost all notable Americans from before the Revolution to the 1850s, as well as prominent Europeans and documents related to military affairs. This adds to the APS Library's Early American History Collections, which are particularly strong for the period from 1750 to 1840. In addition to the Benjamin Franklin Papers and the Thomas Paine Collection, the APS has a wide assortment of documents from the revolutionary era. Among these are official government documents and correspondence, military records that range from the Continental Army to Pennsylvania county records, and personal correspondence from various historical actors. Comprehensive, searchable guides and finding aids to these collections are available online at and