School of Humanities
Ph.D., UCLA, 1980, History
Phone: History Department: (949) 824-6521
University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 5675
Irvine, CA 92697
Early America, social history and gender
My first book was a study of unfree labor in colonial Pensylvania. (To Serve Well and Faithfully: Labor and Indentured Servants in Pennsylvania, 1682-1800, Cambridge University Press, 1987). Servants and slaves were virtually interchangeable labor forces in the middle colonies. My next project focused on the social world of drinking. (Taverns and Drinking in Early America, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002) Early Americans drank a lot both inside and outside the tavern. All colonies had laws governing the behavior of tavern keepers and patrons but these were rather peculiar public spaces. Laws prohibited certain folks from entering and the tavern served to reaffirm status, gender, and ethnic hierarchies within society. I am currently working on a book-length study, with Cornelia Dayton, on warning out in 18th-century Boston. This legal mechanism has been used by previous historians as a proxy for poverty. We are finding it to be a far more complicated tale and one that helps us understand geographical mobility and the Boston landscape.