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Faculty

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Thomas P. Slaughter

  • Arthur R. Miller Professor and Professor of History
  • Editor, Reviews in American History

PhD, Princeton University, 1983

369B Rush Rhees Library
(585) 273-2799
thomas.slaughter@rochester.edu


Field

American History

Research Overview

My principal areas of interest are the American Revolution, slavery and abolitionism, humans in nature, and families. I edit the journal Reviews in American History, on which one graduate student each year works as assistant editor. I published a book entitled Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution (FS&G) in 2014. I am currently researching two books, one is on the first four Presidents in retirement, which I am tentatively entitling Founding Grandfathers. The other is a history of the Seward family of Auburn, New York, which focuses on the immediate family of William Henry Seward, state senator and governor, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson. I am also teaching a two-course sequence: The Seward Family's Civil War and The Seward Family in Peace and in War. Graduate and undergraduate students in these two courses receive hands-on experience with website design, creation, and implementation. They learn about the history of families and the nineteenth century, and transcribe, edit, and annotate family correspondence from the Seward Papers, which are housed here at the University of Rochester. We also digitize Seward family photos and correspondence, upload them to the website of the Seward Project. Students participate in every aspect of the project. Some students continue work through the summer on Lessing/Landau Grants, a grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, and funds from the Arthur R. Miller chair endowment. We are collaborating with the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, the Digital Humanities Center in the UR Library, and with the Seward House museum in Auburn, NY.  One graduate student each year works as assistant editor of the Seward Project and several others work as managers--of transcription and annotation, of data management, of TEI and website construction, and of special projects.

Graduate Fields

I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Graduate Overview" page in the Graduate Handbook.

Teaching Field: America and the World I

Research Fields: American Nature; Humans and Nature; Thoreau's Nature; American Families, c.1700-1900

I will be accepting students for admission in Fall 2018.

Courses Offered (subject to change)

  • HIS 100:  Gateway: The World of Thomas Jefferson, Syllabus
  • HIS 181:  History of Eating and Food, Syllabus
  • HIS 258/458:  Women's Lives in Letters, Syllabus
  • HIS 360/460:  America and the World, Syllabus
  • HIS 381/481:  Just Wars, Syllabus
  • HIS 278/478:  The Seward Family's Civil War
  • HIS 279/479:  The Seward Family in Peace and War, Syllabus
  • HIS 384W:  The Family in History, Syllabus

Selected Publications

  • Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution (2014)
  • The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition (2008).
  • Exploring Lewis and Clark: Reflections on Men and Wilderness (2002).
  • Thomas Paine, Common Sense and Related Writings (2001).
  • The Natures of John and William Bartram (1996).
  • William Bartram: Travels and Other Writings (edited, 1996).
  • Bloody Dawn: Race and Violence in the Antebellum North (1991).
  • The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (1986).
  • Reviews in American History

Selected Book Covers