Figures 5a and 5b: Title of Fourth Antimasonic State Convention. Antimasonic Republican Convention, of Massachusetts, Held at Boston, Sept. 11, 12, & 13, 1833, for the Nomination of Candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor of the Commonwealth, and “For the Purpose of ‘Consulting Upon the Common Good, by Seeking Redress of Wrongs and Grievances Suffered’ from Secret Societies” (Boston: Jonathan Howe, 1833). Courtesy of Concord Free Public Library. Charles Pinckney Sumner, A Letter on Speculative Free Masonry . . . Being an Answer to a Letter . . . on That Subject by the Suffolk Committee (Boston: John Marsh; Dutton & Wentworth, 1829). Courtesy of Concord Free Public Library.


Welcome to Commonplace, a destination for exploring and exchanging ideas about early American history and culture. A bit less formal than a scholarly journal, a bit more scholarly than a popular magazine, Commonplace speaks—and listens—to scholars, museum curators, teachers, hobbyists, and just about anyone interested in American history before 1900. It is for all sorts of people to read about all sorts of things relating to early American life—from architecture to literature, from politics to parlor manners. It’s a place to find insightful analysis of early American history as it is discussed in scholarly literature, as it manifests on the evening news, as it is curated in museums, big and small; as it is performed in documentary and dramatic films and as it shows up in everyday life.

In addition to critical evaluations of books and websites (Reviews) and poetic research and fiction (Creative Writing), our articles explore material and visual culture (Objects); pedagogy, the writing of literary scholarship, and the historian’s craft (Teach); and diverse aspects of America’s past and its many peoples (Learn). For more great content, check out our other projects, (Just Teach One) and (Just Teach One African American Print).


How to cite Commonplace articles:

Author, “Title of Article,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, date accessed, URL.

Sophie White, “Trading Looks Race, Religion and Dress in French America,” Commonplace: the journal of early American life, accessed September 30, 2019, https://commonplace.online/article/trading-looks-race-religion-dress-french-america/


Joshua R. Greenberg, editor


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