Carr, Jacqueline Barbara 1954-
Carr, Jacqueline Barbara 1954-
Office—University of Vermont, History Department, Wheeler House, 133 S. Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05405. E-mail—[email protected]
Educator and author of nonfiction. California State University, lecturer, 1998-2000, assistant professor, 2000-04; University of Vermont, Burlington, assistant professor, 2004-08, associate professor, 2008—.
Recipient of grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
After the Siege: A Social History of Boston, 1775-1800, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 2005.
Also contributed "A Change ‘as Remarkable as the Revolution Itself’: Boston's Demographics, 1780-1800" to the New England Quarterly, December, 2000.
Jacqueline Barbara Carr is an associate professor at the University of Vermont at Burlington, lecturing on colonial America, the American Revolution, and the early American Republic. She has also led seminars and presented papers on a variety of topics, including the multicultural history of the American Revolution, colonial urban life, community studies and material culture, and the politics of public entertainment in eighteenth-century Boston. Carr's research focuses on community, local economies and institutions, and women in early America. In particular, her studies deal with businesswomen in New England during the Revolutionary era and early American Republic. Carr's scholarship has earned her grants and fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Carr's first book, After the Siege: A Social History of Boston, 1775-1800, is the only lengthy exploration of the post-Revolutionary reconstruction of Boston written in the last 150 years. A contributor to the Journal of American History noted that the book "fills a longstanding gap in Boston's record, and Carr's readers will be grateful not only for her diligence and resourcefulness in ferreting out information from underused sources, but also for her clear, engaging style."
Relying on an impressive array of Revolutionary War era narrative accounts and primary sources—including church records, birth and marriage records, contemporary newspaper accounts, and tax assessments—Carr charts Boston's near-collapse, admirably swift recovery, and cosmopolitan transformation. Writing for the Historian, reviewer Daniel McDonough observed that "Carr presents an insightful discussion of the precarious economic situation of the town." Carr recounts how Boston was first crippled by British occupation, then thrashed by both the Continental Army's siege and the Revolutionary War itself. Nonetheless, by 1800 Boston was once again an influential American commercial center, with a population of 25,000. This is twice its prewar level, and more than eight times as large as its wartime low point of 3,000 souls.
Despite some minor criticisms of the narrow focus of Carr's chapter on "The Politics of Leisure," McDonough concluded that "Carr has produced an insightful account of the revitalization of Boston as it prepared for the major transformations of the nineteenth century that should appeal to anyone studying this period."
Carr told CA: "As a child I had a passion for reading history books. As early as age six I knew I wanted to teach history and I enjoyed writing stories. The desire to write about history developed along with these interests.
"As a graduate student I was strongly influenced by the scholarship of the ‘new social historians’ who began to write during the 1960s and 1970s. The idea of exploring the lives of everyday people and their connection into the bigger picture of history seemed a natural complement to my interests in material culture, public history, and local history.
"I need large blocks of concentrated time such as several eight- or ten-hour days in succession with no interruptions. As a professor, there is seldom time to write during the academic year, so summer months are extremely important for both research and writing.
"My purpose in writing is twofold. As an academic it is extremely important to me to make a contribution to the scholarly community, but I also want my work to be accessible to a broader audience and interest non-academics."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December, 2005, John K. Alexander, review of After the Siege: A Social History of Boston, 1775-1800, p. 1527.
Historian, fall, 2006, Daniel McDonough, review of After the Siege.
Journal of American History, December, 2005, John W. Tyler, review of After the Siege, p. 957.
Journal of the Early Republic, winter, 2005, Roberts S. Cox, review of After the Siege.
New England Quarterly, September, 2005, Mark A. Peterson, review of After the Siege, p. 508.
Reference & Research Book News, May, 2005, review of After the Siege, p. 73.
William and Mary Quarterly, July, 2005, Gary B. Nash, review of After the Siege, p. 554.
University of Vermont Web site,http://www.uvm.edu/ (December 20, 2006), profile of author.
University Press of New England Web site,http://www.upne.com/ (February 7, 2008), description of After the Siege.