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  • From the Editor
  • Elaine Forman Crane

It is very fitting that in this, my last issue as editor of Early American Studies, the journal's content ranges widely and the authors themselves are situated both in the United States and abroad. This is a goal accomplished—to publish a wide variety of articles by graduate students as well as by junior and senior scholars, all of whom consider topics from different perspectives. It seems to have worked well to define early America loosely, both chronologically and thematically, since submissions have come from untraditional as well as conventional sources. The journal would have benefited from more historical fiction and a greater number of hitherto unpublished primary documents, but even the few that were included enhance the notion of early American studies. The balance of historical and literary subjects speaks to the same idea.

Thus, in an appealing essay that explores the language of sensibility, Mary Kelley shows how courtship and politics shared a similar trans-Atlantic literary culture through the correspondence of an interesting trio of Revolutionary-era Americans. Moreover, this issue adds genealogy to the family of early American studies. Karin Wulf makes a strong case for the symbiotic relationship between history and genealogy. In the following pages, only two articles are directly connected by subject matter—that is, botany and biology. Christopher Parsons and Kathleen Murphy discuss the ways in which plant, animal, and fish specimens were packed and transported across the Atlantic, and Kelly Wisecup shows how Samson Occom linked plants to bodies and illnesses. Moreover, Wisecup makes a compelling argument that Occom's medical writing has been undervalued and deserves as much recognition as his religious tracts. The practice of medicine is also related to the subject of Sarah Fatherly's fine essay on the role of women in the British North American hospital during the Seven Years' War. Yet if the implications of a dedicated female presence dominates Fatherly's essay, the onset of war itself is central to Jasper Trautsch's article. He tackles the question of responsibility for theWar of 1812 and argues for a combination of factors that led to its onset: populist nationalism and the Madison administration. And in another essay on a trans-Atlantic subject, Michael Hoberman turns to New England's economic relationship with Jewish traders and the origins of Jewish mercantile activity in that region. [End Page v]

Taken as a whole, the essays in this issue confirm that there is no end to the ingenuity with which scholars explore early America—however "early America" is defined. [End Page vi]



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