The New England Quarterly

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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

Scroll down for this issue’s full table of contents.

The March 2019 Issue of the NEQ is now Available.

“ONE of the pleasures of assembling the March issue of the New England Quarterly was to learn to “read” differently. I pause here to ask for absolution from an early English teacher who commanded his young charges to purge tendentious quotation marks from their essays; however, as what follows indicates, there seems to be no alternative to conveying how imaginatively our authors have examined their respective sources. Dependent as literary scholars and historians are upon the analysis of text, all of our essays caution against being too narrow and literal and ask us to contextualize our understandings in the broadest sense of ‘reading.'” 

Jonathan Chu,  Editor

Click here to see the full table of contents

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 December 31, 2019. 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.

The New England Quarterly‘s December 2018 issue is now available.

“One of the joys of editing the New England Quarterly is the opportunity to visit with old friends. This issue bring together old friends and introduces me to a new one, and, in the process, affirming anew the value of interdisciplinary scholarship for which the Quarterly is aptly suited. At the Quarterly, the editors are especially interested in essays which look at traditional subjects from new prospectives that help us see simultaneously more deeply and broadly. We find these kinds of essays to be especially innovative and creative as they extend our scholarly vision while reconnecting us to the familiar. The four essays in this issue do exactly that: they ask us, in the light of different perspectives and new insights and methods, to revisit our intellectual habits of the mind. Lydia Willsky-Ciollo, Geoffrey Kirsch, and Colin Nicolson provide new views of old friends Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Daniel Webster, John Adams, and Jonathan Sewall while Steve Gowler introduces us to a new acquaintance, William Goodall, who intellectually connects radical abolitionism to Jonathan Edwards and Stephen Hopkins. The span of essays, interestingly enough, have methodological approaches and illustrate the multiple and rich ways one can examine cultural discourse in the scholarship of late eighteenth- and nineteenth century America.”

— Editorial, Jonathan M. Chu

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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.

Call for Papers for the 2019 American Literature Association Annual Conference:

We seek submissions for a panel highlighting new scholarly approaches to the study of New England, broadly construed, sponsored by the New England Quarterly, the foremost scholarly journal devoted to the study of the region’s cultural, literary, political, and social history.  Papers might explore a figure or subject that has been neglected or utilize emerging critical approaches and conceptual frameworks.  A member of the journal’s editorial staff will be available to work with all interested authors in the further development of these contributions into submissions to the journal.  We heartily encourage submissions from women and scholars of color.

The American Literature Association’s 30th annual conference will meet at the Westin Copley Place in Boston on May 23-26, 2019 (Thursday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend).

Please submit an abstract of around 250 words to by January 11, 2019.

—  Volume 92, Issue 2: June 2019  —

by Jonathan M. Chu


Needle, Pen, and the Social Geography of Taste in Early National Providence
by Kate Silbert

The Resistance Petitions of 1664–1665: Confronting the Restoration in Massachusetts Bay
by Adrian Chastain Weimer

Memoranda and Documents

An Old Author in the New World: Terence, Samuel Melyen, and the Boston Latin School c. 1700 by Theodore R. Delwiche

Book Reviews

As a City on a Hill: The Story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon. By Daniel T. Rodgers
Review by Christopher Grasso 

Franco-America in the Making: The Creole Nation Within. By Jonathan K. Gosnell
Review by Bill Marshall

The Poison Plot: A Tale of Adultery and Murder in Colonial Newport. By Elaine Forman Crane
Review by Ken Miller

The Last Great Colonial Lawyer: The Life and Legacy of Jeremiah Gridley. By Charles R. McKirdy
Review by Stanley N. Katz

Pulpit and Nation: Clergyman and the Politics of Revolutionary America. By Spencer W. McBride
Review by Jonathan D. Sassi

Father of Liberty: Jonathan Mayhew and the Principles of the American Revolution. By J. Patrick Mullins
Review by Christina Carrick

Sarah Gray Cary, From Boston to Grenada: Shifting Fortunes of an American Family 1764–1826. By Susan Clair Imbarrato 
Review by Sheryllynne Haggerty

American Sectionalism in the British Mind, 1823–1863. By Peter O’Connor
Review by Mark Bennett

Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. By Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Review by Martha Hodes

Finding Thoreau: The Meaning of Nature in the Making of an Environmental Icon. By Richard W. Judd
Review by William Rossi

The Boatman: Henry David Thoreau’s River Years. By Robert M. Thorson
Review by T. S. McMillin

Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. By Joanne B. Freeman
Review by Richard D. Brown

The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known: The North’s Union Leagues in the American Civil War. By Paul Taylor
Review by Adam Smith

A Land of Dreams: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Irish in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Maine, 1880–1923. By Patrick Mannion
Review by Sophie Cooper

Between City and Country: Brookline, Massachusetts, and the Origins of Suburbia. By Ronald Dale Karr
Review by James C. O’Connell

For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in America. By Charles Dorn
Review by Andrea L. Turpin

Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League. By Stefan M. Bradley
Review by Stephanie Y. Evans

Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline By Andrew W. Kahrl
Review by Christopher J. Manganiello

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