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; https://www.amphilsoc.org/david-center-american-revolution), 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 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET during the Fall and Spring semesters. All meetings in 2024-2025 will be held on Zoom. The seminar strives to create a collegial environment that will bring together scholars of the era from throughout 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]

2023-2024 Seminar Series

Wednesday, September 13: Rebecca Brannon, ""The Vale of Years into which I am very fast descending": Ideas and Realities of Aging in Revolutionary Times"

Wednesday, October 11: Grant Stanton, "The Tory and the Patriot: Ezekiel Russell, Isaiah Thomas, and the Problem of Antislavery in the American Revolution"

Wednesday, November 8: Evan Turiano, "Somerset, the State, and Reciprocal Rights in American Abolitionism"

Wednesday, December 6: Blake McGready, "'All Nature's Face, is dug, pitch'd up & tore': The Loyalist Environmental Imagination from Occupied New York City"

Wednesday, January 24: Jennifer Egloff, "Revelation and the American Revolution: Understanding and Justifying War with Britain through Personal Prophecy and Biblical Exegesis"

Wednesday, March 6: Dillon Streifende, "From Jamaica with Reform: Sir Henry Moore's 'Reformation' and the Coming of the Revolution in New York, 1765-1775"

Wednesday, April 10: Kiernan O’Keefe, "Suffering for the Crown: The Hudson Valley Loyalists, Violence, and Forced Migration in Revolutionary North America"

Past Seminars

Spring 2023 Schedule

Wednesday, May 24: Kevin Murphy (Stony Brook University) "Dueling Oaths in Colonial America, 1765-1773" 

Wednesday, April 12: Emily Sneff (William and Mary) "In the Eye of Enmity”: Censoring and Celebrating the Declaration of Independence in London" 

Wednesday, February 25: Wayne Bodle (University of Pennsylvania) “To Husband a Better Liberty: The Constructive Widowhood of Jane Martin Bartram, c. 1790-1815,” 

Fall 2022 Schedule

Wednesday, October 5: James Mackay (University of Edinburgh), "'Refuge in the English Army': Black Refugees and the Yorktown Campaign."

Wednesday, December 7: Christian Koot (Towson University), "Fashioning an Ornament to the Colony: Imperial Belonging and Crisis in the Governor’s Palace at New Bern."

Wednesday, January 25: Wayne Bodle (University of Pennsylvania), "To Husband a Better Liberty" The Constructive Widowhood of Jane Martin Bartram, c. 1790-1815."

Wednesday, February 15: Rebecca Brannon (James Madison University), "'The Vale of Years into which I am very fast descending': Ideas and Realities of Aging in Revolutionary Times." 

Spring 2022 Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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." 

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

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

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 www.amphilsoc.org/library and http://amphilsoc.pastperfectonline.com/.