Roundtable: Perspectives on the War of 1812 from the Collections of the Newberry Library | Newberry

Roundtable: Perspectives on the War of 1812 from the Collections of the Newberry Library

John Melish, Traveller's Directory through the United States, 1815. Ayer 138 M4

John Melish, Traveller’s Directory through the United States, 1815. Ayer 138 M4

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Roundtable 3 - 5 pm; reception 5 - 6:30 pm

Ruggles Hall

Center for American History and Culture Programs
Center for American Indian Studies Programs
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Other Renaissance Programs
Center for the History of Cartography Programs

1812 proved a momentous year. In Europe, Great Britain battled the French armies of Napoleon, who also launched his ill-fated invasion of Russia that year. Ramifications of this conflict sparked the War of 1812, pitting the United States against Britain and against an American Indian alliance that hoped to block American expansion into the Northwest Territories. Politically, Jeffersonian supporters of the war encountered opposition by Federalists, a dispute that eventually ended the nation’s First Party System.

On the 200th anniversary of 1812, this panel will feature scholars in different historical subfields and disciplines who have worked extensively with the collections of the Newberry. They will briefly present their current research on aspects of the War of 1812 and its consequences, with a special focus on the sources used. The presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion.


American Indians and the Study of the Early Republic: Missed Opportunities in the Historiography of the War of 1812
Susan Sleeper-Smith, Michigan State University

The Groundless Middle: Indians, Empires, Republics, and Legends in the War of 1812
Gregory Dowd, University of Michigan

Chicago and the Western Indian War in 1812
Ann Durkin Keating, North Central College

Breaking the Covenant Chain: Iroquoia in 1812
Scott Manning Stevens, D’arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies

John Melish’s A Military and Topographical Atlas of the United States: The War of 1812 and the Emergence of American Commercial Cartography
James Akerman, Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography

Chair: Karen A. Christianson, Center for Renaissance Studies

This program is co-listed as a session of the American Historical Association 2012 annual meeting, cosponsored by the four research centers of the Newberry. It is free and open to the public; no advance registration is required, and audience members need not be registered for the AHA meeting to attend. For more information, contact

A reception will follow the panel.

The Newberry will also feature a spotlight exhibition, “Border Troubles in the War of 1812,” in conjunction with the session. All exhibitions at the Newberry are free and open to the public. This exhibition will be shown in the Hermon Dunlap Smith Gallery Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 8:15 am to 5 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:15 am to 7:30 pm