Rethinking Black and U.S. Political History: Van Gosse's The First Reconstruction

Friday, April 1, 2022, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Type: Panel Discussion

Tags: African American; Politics; Race


Van Gosse's The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War is a much-anticipated study of a period during which it is usually assumed that African Americans could not participate meaningfully. This panel session asks practitioners of different approaches to 19th century black politics to respond to Gosse's major study.

Session Participants

Chair: David L. Waldstreicher, City University of New York Graduate Center
Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Author of In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes: The Making of American Nationalism, 1776-1820 (1997); Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution (2004) and Slavery's Constitution (2009).

Panelist: Daniel Carpenter, Harvard University
Allie S. Freed Professor of Government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.

Professor Carpenter's research on petitioning appears in his forthcoming book Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790-1870 (Harvard University Press, 2021); "L’éruption patriote: The Revolt against Dalhousie and the Petitioning Explosion in Nineteenth-Century French Canada,” Social Science History (2019, with Doris Brossard); "Recruitment by Petition: American Antislavery, French Protestantism, English Suppression," Perspective on Politics (September 2016); "Paths of Recruitment: Rational Social Prospecting in Petition Canvassing," American Journal of Political Science (2018, with Clayton Nall and Benjamin Schneer), which was awarded the AJPS Best Article Award for 2018; “Party Emergence Through Petitions: The Whigs and the Bank War of 1832-34” Studies in American Political Development (October 2015, with Benjamin Schneer), and “When Canvassers Became Activists: Antislavery Petitioning and the Political Mobilization of American Women,” American Political Science Review (August 2014, with Colin D. Moore), which was awarded the Mary Parker Follett Prize of the American Political Science Association for best article in political history of 2014.

Professor Carpenter's previous scholarship on regulation and government organizations appears in Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA (Princeton, 2010), winner of the Allan Sharlin Memorial Award of the Social Science History Association; and of The Forging of Bureaucratic Autonomy: Reputations, Networks and Policy Innovation in Executive Agencies, 1862-1928 (Princeton, 2001), winner of the Gladys Kammerer Prize of the American Political Science Association and the Charles Levine Prize of the International Political Science Association. With David Moss of Harvard Business School, he is the author and co-editor of Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence in Regulation and How to Limit It (Cambridge, 2013).

He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Radcliffe Institute Fellow (2007-2008), and Fellow at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2003-2004), as well as an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. His articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Studies in American Political Development, Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, among other venues. His public writings have appeared in The New York Times, Le Monde, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Washington Monthly and other outlets.

Panelist: Kellie Carter Jackson, Wellesley College
Knafel Assistant Professor of the Humanities
Department of Africana Studies
Wellesley College

author, Force & Freedom: Black Abolitionists and the Politics of Violence, (Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).

*Finalist for the MAAH Stone Book Award Prize 2019
*Winner of the James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize
*Finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, 2020

Erica L. Ball and Kellie Carter Jackson, eds., Reconsidering Roots: Race Politics and Memory for the “Since 1970:Histories of Contemporary America Series” ( University of Georgia Press, 2017).

Commentator: Van Gosse, Franklin & Marshall College
Professor, Department of History, Franklin and Marshall College


The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America, From the Revolution to the Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021).

Editor (with David Waldstreicher), Revolutions and Reconstructions: Black Politics in the Long Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forth coming, August 2020).

Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005); named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book for 2006.

The Movements of the New Left, 1950-1975: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: St. Martin's Press/Bedford Books, 2004).

Editor (with Richard Moser), The World the Sixties Made: Politics and Culture in Recent America (Temple University Press, 2003).

Where the Boys Are: Cuba, Cold War America and the Making of a New Left (New York: Verso, 1993).

Articles and Book Chapters:

“In the Woodpile: Negro Electors in the First Reconstruction” in Van Gosse and David Waldstreicher, eds., Revolutions and Reconstructions: Black Politics in the Long Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming August 2020).

“Patchwork Nation: Racial Orders and Disorder in the United States, 1790-1860,” Journal of the Early Republic (Spring 2020), 45-81.

Panelist: Sarah L. H. Gronningsater, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania, 2017-present

Book Manuscript in Progress

The Arc of Abolition: The Children of Gradual Emancipation and the Origins of National Freedom (under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press, Early American Studies Series)

Articles and Chapters

“James Tallmadge, Jr. and the Personal Politics of Antislavery,” in Jeffrey L. Pasley and John Craig Hammond, eds., A Fire-Bell in the Past: Reassessing the Missouri Crisis of 1819-1821 (under contract, University of Missouri Press)

“Practicing Formal Politics without the Vote: Black New Yorkers in the Aftermath of 1821” in Van Gosse and David Waldstreicher, eds., Emancipations, Reconstructions, and Revolutions: African American Politics and U.S. History from the First to the Second Civil War (forthcoming, Penn Press, 2020)

“‘Expressly Recognized by Our Election Laws’: Certificates of Freedom and the Multiple Fates of Black Citizenship in the Early Republic,” William and Mary Quarterly (July 2018)

“Born Free in the Master’s House: Children and Gradual Emancipation in the Early Republican North” in Anna Mae Duane, ed., Child Slavery before and after Emancipation (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

“‘On Behalf of His Race and the Lemmon Slaves’: Louis Napoleon, Northern Black Legal Culture, and the Politics of Sectional Crisis,” Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2017)

Panelist: Steven Hahn, New York University
Author of A Nation without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910 (Volume in the Viking History of the United States, 2016) ;The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom( 2009); A Nation Under Our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery
to the Great Migration (Harvard University Press, 2003)