The New England Quarterly

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Check out recent author Adrain Chastain Weimer’s blogpost!

Adrian Chastain Weimer writes for the Massachusetts Historical Society blog on “Elijah’s Mantle & its Annotations: A Source for Puritan Constitutionalism” Check out the blog here.

Weimer’s related article, “The Resistance Petitions of 1664–1665: Confronting the Restoration in Massachusetts Bay,” appears in the June 2019 issue of the New England Quarterly.

Read Weimer’s NEQ article here, free for the next two months!


The September 2019 Issue of the NEQ is now in print!

“This number of the New England Quarterly focuses upon challenges in New England history. Too often as the British historian T.H. Aston once advised us, historians like to look for crises in the past; and too often, the narratives we develop from our study of them favor why survivors survived or victors succeeded. Yet if, as Oscar Handlin, one of the Quarterly‘s former editors, also told us, that knowing the truth about the past is a means to warn the present, history should probably recognize failures more frequently. Each of our authors chronicle the less successful, and in the process, we discern the utility of knowing the past, of the fragility of enterprises, of fateful choices, of the messiness of human experiences, of unanticipated consequences, and of the arrogance of certitude.”

Jonathan Chu, Editor

Scroll down to see this issue’s full table of contents.

The June 2019 Issue of the NEQ is now Available.

“When done well, regional history, like social and cultural history, is a resilient medium that takes narrowly focused studies and broadens their perspectives to provide the evidentiary base that makes more nuanced generalizations possible. Our three essays in this issue illustrate the ways in which the interrogation of small things in New England leads to imaginative ways of accessing the past, explaining patterns of cultural change, and exposing the complexities of historical generalizations.”

Jonathan Chu, Editor

The Colonial Society of Massachusetts Announces the 2019
Walter Muir Whitehill Prize
in Early American History

This prize of two thousand five hundred dollars, established in memory of Walter Muir Whitehill, for many years Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society and the moving force behind the organization, will be awarded for a distinguished essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. The Society hopes that the prize may be awarded annually.

A committee of eminent historians will review the essays. Their decision in all cases will be final.

By arrangement with the editors of The New England Quarterly, the Society will have the winning essay published in an appropriate issue of the journal.

Essays are now being accepted for consideration. All manuscripts submitted for the 2019 prize must be postmarked no later than January 15, 2020. The Society expects to announce the winning candidate in the spring of 2020.

Entries submitted for consideration should be addressed to:

Whitehill Prize Committee
c/o The New England Quarterly

Department of History
University of Massachusetts, Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125

Click here for more information including judging criteria, submission specifications, and past winners.

Innovations in Teaching

The New England Quarterly is pleased to announce the addition of Innovations in Teaching to our website. As teachers as well as editors and scholars, we began discussions three summers ago on how we might make the Quarterly useful for a larger audience. Last August we finally got around to placing the conversation on the functional equivalent of our New Year’s resolutions. Shortly thereafter, one of us reviewed a submission from the University of Vermont with a long list of co-authors which to our subsequent delight was an essay on the life of Frances Parkinson Keyes, author and the wife of Senator Henry Keyes of New Hampshire, written by eleven undergraduates in the US social history undergraduate seminar under the direction of Professor Melanie Gustafson. Sometimes, as the great Oakland and Yankees outfielder Reggie Jackson used to say, “It’s better to be lucky than good.” We agreed that however the department evolved, this essay and Professor Gustafson’s seminar needed a larger audience, hence its publication here as our inaugural effort.

Grateful for the contribution of Professor Gustafson’s class, we solicit responses to continue the conversation we hope this essay initiates on teaching. We also welcome comments, suggestions, and contributions that would facilitate other conversations on the teaching of history. Our only guidance at this point is that all contributions be directed towards advancing New England history and literary culture and being of use to teachers. Those interested in contributing a pedagogical exercise or commentary should forward pdf and word documents to for the editors’ review.

—  Volume 92, Issue 3: September 2019  —

by Jonathan M. Chu


2019 Whitehill Prize Essay

City on the Other Hill: The Plough Patent, the Company of Husbandmen, and a Radical Puritan Colonization Project

by David R. Como

The Fight for a New England Turpentine Trade: Empire, Markets, and the Colonial Landscape at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century

by Strother E. Roberts

New Voices

“A State of Conscious and Permanent Visibility”: Sight as an Instrument of Cure and Control at the Worcester State Hospital for the Insane, 1833–1900

by Madeline Bourque Kearin


Re-Reading Liberalism: Omission, Ambiguity, and Anomaly in New England Sermonic Literature, 1699–c. 1750

by Stephen Foster

Book Reviews

In Pursuit of Civility: Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England. By Keith Thomas
Review by Richard Lyman Bushman

The American Farmer in the Eighteenth Century: A Social and Cultural History. By Richard Lyman Bushman
Review by Gloria L. Main

The Imperialist Nation: Citizens and Subjects in the British, French, Spanish, and American Empires. By Josep M. Fradera
Review by Eliga Gould

The Loyalist Problem in Revolutionary New England. By Thomas N. Ingersoll
Review by Liam Riordan

The Commerce of Vision: Optical Culture and Perception in Antebellum America. By Peter John Brownlee
Review by Jennifer Van Horn

Dr. Harriet Kezia Hunt: Nineteenth-Century Physician and Woman’s Rights Advocate. By Myra C. Glenn
Review by Lucia McMahon

Spirits of Place in American Literary Culture. By John Gatta 
Review by Steven Knepper

W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design. By Bruce Kennett
Review by David Godine

“Each generation must rewrite history from its own point of view.” 
NEQ’s Founding Editors, 1928