Early American Literature

A scholarly quarterly journal devoted to scholarship and criticism of American literature through 1830. Topics encompass research in Native American traditional expression, as well as the colonial literatures of the Hispanic Americans, the French, the Dut

Articles from Vol. 48, No. 3, Fall

A Mexican Drama of Late-Colonial Politics
A theater piece performed in Mexico City in 1796 as part of a public display of colonial loyalty can be read at one level as just that but also at another level as revelatory of thoughtful questioning of Spanish rule in the distant Americas, as expressive...
Dr. Rush and Mr. Peale: The Figure of the Animal in Late Eighteenth-Century Medical Discourse
Among the common mechanisms for understanding human bodies, in sickness and in health, proliferating among professionals and laypeople alike during the transatlantic long eighteenth century was the nonhuman animal. Often used analogously with the human...
Editor's Note
Editor emeritus Philip F. Gura's new book, Truth's Ragged Edge: The Rise of the American Novel, has just been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It treats authors from William Hill Brown through Elizabeth Stuart Phelps. Call for Submissions...
Irving, Ruin, and Risk
Low ambition offends Americans even more than low achievement. --Scott Sandage, Born Losers: A History of Failure in America Why does a professional writer write? Or, to ask a question more specific to the pages that follow: why did Washington...
Lumping or Splitting: Fresh Perspective on the "German-Speaking Peoples" of Early Pennsylvania
Envisioning the Old World: Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg and Imperial Projects in Pennsylvania University of Pennsylvania, November 29-December 1, 2012 Philadelphia September 6, 2011, marked the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Henry...
Maps and Myths: Consuming Lewis and Clark in the Early Republic
In preparation for the bicentennial commemoration of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's expedition, the Lewis and Clark Federal Interagency Partnership published a pamphlet entitled Discovering the Legacy of Lewis and Clark. Intended to educate the...
MLA Honored Scholar of Early American Literature, 2013
The MLA's Division for American Literature before 1800 is charged with recognizing the extraordinary contributions of scholars to the field of early American studies. The Executive Committee for 2013 has unanimously named Ivy Schweitzer, professor...
Penman's Devil: The Chirographic and Typographic Urgency of Race Letters of the Late Ignatius Sancho, an African
When Ignatius Sancho, an Anglo-African and former slave, died in 1780, editor Frances Crew assembled his extant letters (fig. 1). Crew worked with printer-publisher John Nichols to publish the first edition of Sancho's correspondence under the title...
Reading, Writing, and Remembering: Presidential Address for the Eighth Biennial Society of Early Americanists (SEA) Conference in Savannah, Georgia, 2013
Academia is hierarchichal in nature; you wait your turn, cheerfully grumbling about your elders, confident that you will not make the mistakes they made. When it's your turn, you think, things will be very different. And yet when it's your turn,...
Review Editor's Note
It is with mixed regret (for us) and elation (for her) that we say good-bye to editorial assistant Ashleigh Lovelace with this issue. After graduating from the University of Kentucky last spring with multiple honors and three undergraduate degrees...
The Wampanoag Word: John Eliot's Indian Grammar, the Vernacular Rebellion, and the Elegancies of Native Speech
In the 1640s, God began to speak Wampanoag. (1) He formed his first words in the new tongue when John Eliot in his early years as Puritan missionary of Massachusetts Bay started translating Christian doctrine into the native language of southeastern...
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