Society of Civil War Historians quarterly newsletter.

Summer 2013 Newsletter


The Journal of the Civil War Era

The Journal of the Civil War Era

William Blair, Editor

Judith Giesberg, Associate Editor

Gregory Downs, Associate Editor

Kate Masur, Associate Editor

Matthew Isham, Managing Editor

William Cossen, Editorial Assistant

Published by The University of North Carolina Press in association with the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, The Pennsylvania State University

The Journal of the Civil War Era

The University of North Carolina Press, in partnership with the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, launched The Journal of the Civil War Era in March 2011, with William Blair, Director of the Richards Center, serving as founding editor. He is joined by associate editors Judith Giesberg (who coordinates book reviews), Anthony Kaye, Aaron Sheehan-Dean, and Managing Editor Matthew Isham. The journal is an exciting new gathering place for scholars in various historical disciplines that aims to create consistent dialogue and scholarly interactions among historians in disparate subfields in order to stimulate fresh, new scholarship and, in the words of UNC Press, "galvanize the larger field of nineteenth-century history intellectually and professionally." The journal has published articles on such topics as popular comedy in the Civil War era, the mental and physical health of soldiers during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, representations of slavery in northern theater in the 1800s, and the 1860s as a period of crisis throughout North America, among others.

George and Ann Richards Prize

Ted Maris-Wolf has won the George and Ann Richards Prize for the best article published in The Journal of the Civil War Era in 2014. His article, “Of Blood and Treasure” Recaptive Africans and the Politics of Slave Trade Suppression, appeared in the March issue. The article was selected for the award by the Journal editors and the prize earns the recipient a $1,000 award.

Maris-Wolf’s essay tells the story of America’s determination to suppress the African Slave Trade during James Buchanan’s administration. Despite increasing domestic discord over slavery, there was broad support for the dramatic increase in activity by the U.S. Navy to arrest the trade in the late 1850s. Maris-Wolf shows how the stronger American posture against the slave trade paradoxically played to the interests of both abolitionists and proslavery extremists. Abolitionists saw it as a means to end a horrific practice, while slavery’s proponents pointed to the effort as yet another reason why the U.S. should annex Cuba, a major destination of illegal slave voyages, to end the practice. Though Buchanan’s initial effort to suppress the trade received broad support throughout the country, Maris-Wolf shows how the resultant debates over what to do with recaptive slaves “liberated” by the U.S. Navy only deepened the growing sectional divide over slavery, moving the country closer to civil war.

Ted Maris-Wolf is the Interim Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation and the Abby and George O'Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at Colonial Williamsburg. He is the author of Family Bonds: Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia (UNC Press, 2015) and is also one of the creators of, a partnership among Colonial Williamsburg, UNESCO’s Slave Route Project, and more than fifty museums and historic sites around the world.

Awarded annually, the Richards Prize recognizes the generosity of George and Ann Richards, who have been instrumental in the growth of the Richards Civil War Era Center and in the founding of The Journal of the Civil War Era.

For more information, visit The Journal of the Civil War Era.

Previous Richards Prize winners:

* 2013: Thavolia Glymph, Duke University for her article, “Rose’s War and the Gendered Politics of Slave Insurgency in the Civil War”

* 2012: Carole Emberton, University at Buffalo (SUNY) for her article, "'Only Murder Makes Mens': Reconsidering the Black Military Experience"

* 2011: Anne Marshall, Mississippi State University for her article, "The 1906 Uncle Tom's Cabin and Politics of Race and Memory in Early-Twentieth-Century Kentucky"

>One of the ten best new periodicals of 2011

The Library Journal, the largest and most respected trade publication for the library profession, selected The Journal of the Civil War Era as one of the ten best new periodicals of 2011. It praised the journal for its "meticulous" and "accessible" research articles and its "breadth of topics." The journal earned special consideration for publishing articles that are aimed at scholars while also appealing to general readers. The Library Journal has been publishing since 1876, when it was established by Melville Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal cataloging system.

Official journal of the Society of Civil War Historians

The Journal of the Civil War Era has been adopted by the Society of Civil War Historians, providing a substantial readership base that provides authors with significant visibility. Society members automatically receive a subscription to the journal.

Call for Papers

The journal solicits manuscripts on an ongoing basis and particularly seeks manuscripts that incorporate a broad view of the Civil War era. Besides offering fresh perspectives on military, political, and legal history of the era, articles, essays, and reviews attend to such topics as slavery and antislavery, labor and capitalism, popular culture and intellectual history, expansionism and empire, as well as Native American, African American, and women's history. The journal also serves as a venue for scholars engaged in the study of race, gender, and transnational issues in the 19th century, as well as the full range of theoretical perspectives that animate historical practice.

Manuscript submissions and inquiries about guidelines can be sent to William Blair, Editor, The Journal of the Civil War Era, at All material should be double spaced and not exceed roughly 40 pages, including notes. Electronic submissions are welcome, but please include an attachment that serves as a cover letter with contact information. Queries concerning book reviews should go to Judith Giesberg at The editorial home for the journal is at the Richards Civil War Era Center, The Pennsylvania State University, 108 Weaver Building, University Park, Pa. 16802. For subscriptions and advertising, please contact Suzi Waters at The University of North Carolina Press at