- Editor’s Page
The State of SHEAR and Paul’s Call
Late last year, SHEAR’s president, Paul Gilje, sent a letter to the organization’s members enjoining them to renew their SHEAR membership and Journal of the Early Republic subscription, encouraging them to become “Friends of SHEAR,” while also providing an update on the state of SHEAR. This important message bears repeating, as well as dissemination to the readership of the JER who are not already members; here, in Paul’s words, are the main points:
Dear SHEAR membership:
SHEAR has had another great year! As an organization SHEAR remains dynamic and the JER continues its role as the nation’s premier venue for scholarship between the Revolution and the Civil War. I hope you share my pride in what SHEAR has achieved and are excited about our future.
After a series of wonderfully successful meetings in Philadelphia in 2005, Montréal in 2006, and Worcester in 2007, we returned to Philadelphia this past summer and beat all expectations. Over 400 historians attended the meeting, and thanks to our sponsors and the book exhibit, we cleared over $16,000 from the meeting—well over the expected $5,000. We owe a large debt of gratitude to the Local Arrangements Committee (Amy Baxter-Bellamy, Dan Richter, Andrew Shankman, and Wendy Woloson, headed by Michelle Craig McDonald). I want to especially say that Michelle did a spectacular job. Also worthy of note was the work of our staff at the McNeil Center for early American Studies, Amy Baxter-Bellamy and Alla Vilnyansky, and of Wendy Woloson of the Library Company of Philadelphia. Dan Richter and the McNeil Center hosted a great Thursday night reception. The Library Company not only opened its doors on Friday for a reception it jointly sponsored with the online journal Common-place but also throughout the meeting provided [End Page 133] space for SHEAR to hold the JER editorial meeting, the Advisory Council Meeting, and the Women’s Breakfast. Honestly, we could not have asked for more gracious hosts than John Van Horne and Jim Green of the Library Company. There was also a wonderful banquet—the best in my memory—at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia and made possible by the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. Nancy Isenberg and the program committee she chaired deserve every possible encomium for an exciting set of panels and papers. And, of course, Craig Friend, who ran the book exhibit and is the SHEAR conference coordinator, was everywhere, as usual, making sure things ran smoothly.
This next year the meeting moves toward the middle of the country and the land of Lincoln at Springfield, Illinois. James Huston with his program committee is putting together another set of great panels and papers under the heading “Whither the Revolution: How the Early Republic Retained and Remolded the Legacy of the Revolution.” Please send in your proposals to Jim (who teaches at my instate rival Oklahoma State University) by December 1, 2008 (for details see http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/ctfriend/SHEAR1.htm). I am personally very excited about the meeting in Springfield, hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in the year of the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. I am sure that Dr. Thomas F. Schwartz, the Illinois State Historian, will make this a special occasion for all of us.
The JER editorial office, run by Roderick McDonald and Kate Tyler Wall at the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Cassatt House, has become a model of efficiency. The quality of articles remains high and the review section has changed dramatically, with more expanded and thoughtful reviews, under the editorship of Rachel Onuf and Rob Cox. Authors, reviewers, and readers alike, owe them a great debt of gratitude.
SHEAR has also supported a number of other initiatives in and out of Philadelphia. The SHEAR Mellon Seminar, run this past summer by Richard Newman and Tamara Plakins Thornton, has one more year of operation before the Mellon money runs out. We hope to keep this project afloat in some form thereafter. This past summer Roderick McDonald, the JER’s editor, ran a SHEAR-sponsored NEH Landmarks of American History and...