The seventh Journal of the American Revolution Annual Volume is now available. Each annual volume highlights articles selected by our editorial board from the previous year as best representative of the journal’s mission and for their original contributions to scholarship of the era. The 2021 annual contains thirty-five articles, covering topics from the Lenape people to the Louisiana Purchase, locations from Hudson Bay to Nicaragua, and exploits from the extra-military activities of an army doctor to the opinions of Thomas Jefferson on epidemics. From Don N. Hagist’s introduction to the 2021 Annual:
As a publication about history, Journal of the American Revolution seldom reflects current events. We strive to present factual information about people and events in American history from the 1760s through the early 1800s, and leave it to readers to decide how that information relates to current events. In most ways, every year since JAR began publication has been similar in terms of content—a broad and diverse selection of articles relating to a specific time period.
2020 was different.
The global pandemic that affected almost every aspect of modern life had direct impacts on JAR. A positive effect of the pandemic, not apparent to readers, is that we received more submissions than in any previous year, freely offered by historians of all backgrounds who suddenly had more time than usual to assimilate and write about their research and passions. This afforded the JAR editorial staff a wider selection of material from which to choose our daily on-line articles.
The pandemic also shaped the content of many submissions, to a greater extent than any previous event (except, of course, the events of the late eighteenth century). We received articles about disease outbreaks, especially the deadly yellow fever epidemic that ravaged Philadelphia in 1793. Very little was understood about the specific causes and mechanisms of these diseases, but the recognized ways of arresting their spread have not changed. The term “social distancing” is new, but the concept was well-known in 1793. The era’s equivalent of front-line workers performed heroic deeds and often suffered for it; racial and socioeconomic divides caused disproportionate distress among some populations; there was disagreement about whether to allow public gatherings, particularly for worship; and people “who ought to be patterns for us to follow after,” the reverends Absalom Jones and Richard Allen despaired, “have acted in a manner that would make humanity shudder.” History repeats itself.
The annual volumes are available from the publisher or wherever books are sold.