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Gellman, David N., Ph.D.




History, Harrison Hall, Room 232
Greencastle, IN


A.W. Crandall Professor of History and Chair of the History Department

Professional Interests  

I am an Early American Historian, with a particular focus on efforts to abolish slavery from the Age of Revolution through the Civil War and on colonial North American society. My most recent book is American Odysseys: A History of Colonial North America, co-authored with Timothy Shannon. I also have published two books on emancipation, race, and citizenship: a monograph on the abolition of slavery in New York; and, with David Quigley, a document collection on the debate over race and citizenship in New York from the American Revolution through Reconstruction. I am currently writing a multi-generational biography entitled "Liberty's Legacy: The Jay Family and Slavery Across Four Centuries." This book will tell the story of the transmission and transformation of personal and political values in a prominent American family from the colonial period to the early twentieth century. In addition, I have developed an interest in the history of American cities, especially Chicago and New York City. Finally, my fascination with music legend Bruce Springsteen's relationship to American culture has led to the publication of two essays.


Courses Regularly Taught

HIST105: American Experience: Abolishing Slavery Link to recent syllabus
HIST105: American Experience: Unsolved Colonial Mysteries Link to recent syllabus
HIST197: FYS: Declaration of Independence Link to recent syllabus
HIST263: Founding US Civilizations Link to recent syllabus
HIST264: Nineteenth Century US Link to recent syllabus
HIST281: African & the Black Diaspora Link to recent syllabus
HIST362: Voices of a Revolutionary Age Link to recent syllabus
HIST373: Chicago and New York Link to recent syllabus
HIST490: Senior Seminar Link to recent syllabus


Select Publications 

American Odysseys: A History of Colonial North America, co-author, Timothy J. Shannon (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).  Link to current publication

Emancipating New York: The Politics of Slavery and Freedom 1777-1827 (LSU Press, 2006).  Link to current publication


Jim Crow New York:  A Documentary History of Race and Citizenship, 1777-1877, co-author, David Quigley (New York University Press, 2003). 

Contributed an essay entitled "Going Nowhere: Bruce, the Beatles, Neil Young, Talking Heads and Others" to Bruce Springsteen and the American Soul: Essays on the Songs and Influence of a Cultural Icon, ed. David Garrett Izzo (McFarland Publishing, 2011). Link to McFarland Website 



Huntington Library, San Marino, California (March 2015). Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow for one-month residence.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and   Abolition, Yale Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, postdoctoral Associate Fellowship for one-month residence (Jan./Feb. 2005).

American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellowship for one-month residence (March 2005). 

Choice Outstanding Academic Titles, 2007. Emancipating New York:  The Politics of Slavery and Freedom, 1777-1827.

Choice Outstanding Academic Titles, 2004. Jim Crow New York:  A Documentary History of Race and Citizenship, 1777-1877.

Journal of the Early Republic/Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (2001) Winner of the Ralph D. Gray Prize for outstanding article appearing in Volume 20; "Race, the Public Sphere, and Abolition in Late Eighteenth-Century New York."

Asher Fund in the Social Sciences DePauw University (2014-2015).

John J. & Elizabeth Bowden Baughman Faculty Fellowship DePauw University (2009-2010, 2011-2013).

Edwin L. Minar Jr. Scholarship Award DePauw University (2007).


Professional Associations  

American Historical Association; Society for Historians of the Early American Republic



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