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Gellman, David N., Ph.D. - Faculty Bio

Gellman, David N., Ph.D.




History, Harrison Hall, Room 232
Greencastle, IN


Professor of History

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 am currently completing a multi-generational biography entitled "Liberty's Chain: The Jay Family, Slavery, and Emancipation, 1685-1912," which is under contract with Cornell University Press. 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. I 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.  In addition, I have developed an interest in the history of American cities, especially Chicago and New York City. I also have published two essays on Bruce Springsteen.


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
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


Select Publications 

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

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