Personal Statement:

I teach and write about 19th-century U.S. history, with a emphasis on political economy. My major project right now focuses on how different conceptions of economic creativity helped lead to the Civil War.

Advisor to:

Research and Teaching Interests:

  • Nineteenth Century U.S. (especially Early Republic and Civil War)
  • Political Economy
  • Environmental History
  • History of Education and Schooling
  • Teaching History

Current Projects:

  • Common Schools in the Kentucky Bluegrass Region
    How the most advanced slave economy in the U.S. lagged well behind in providing basic education for most residents.
  • Norfolk’s Postbellum Economic Revolution
    Shows how railroads and new shipping technology transformed Norfolk after the Civil War.
  • Threshold Concepts and the Teaching of History
    See this paper for a good sense of where this research is headed.
  • Patenting in the Kentucky Bluegrass
    In-progress paper showing that patenting rates in the Bluegass lagged far behind neighboring Ohio.

Selected Publications:

  • Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation
    UNC Press, 2009
  • A House Dividing: Economic Development in Pennsylvania and Virginia before the Civil War
    New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Shifting Cultivation, Slavery, and Economic Development.” Co-authored with Viken Tchakerian.
    Agricultural History 81 (Fall 2007)
  • “Toward a Social History of the Corporation: Shareholding in Pennsylvania, 1800-1840,”
    in The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions edited by Cathy Matson (University of Pennsylvania, 2006).
  • Markets and Manufacturing: Industry and Agriculture in the Antebellum South and Midwest” Co-authored with Viken Tchakerian.
    in Susana Delfino and Michele Gillespie (eds.), Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South (University of Missouri Press, 2005).
  • “Imagining ‘A Great Manufacturing Empire’: Virginia and the Possibilities of a Confederate Tariff, Co-authored wtih Jay Carlander.
    Civil War History 49 (December 2003): 334-352.

Courses Taught:

  • History 17B
  • History 162 (U. S. Early Republic)
  • History 164 (U. S. Civil War)