Peter Charles Hoffer Distinguished Research Professor of History The University of Georgia



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1 Peter Charles Hoffer

Distinguished Research Professor of History

The University of Georgia
Education and Educational Grants and Awards
The University of Rochester, 1961-1965 (A.B. summa cum laude,1965); Univ. of Rochester Prize Scholarship, 1961-1965; Phi Beta Kappa, 1965; Ellison Prize in History, 1965

Harvard University, 1965-1970 (M.A., 1966; Ph.D.,1970); Harvard Ford Foundation Five-Year Prize Fellowship, 1965-1970

Newberry Library Summer Institute on Quantitative Methods in History, 1977

Rockefeller Foundation Summer Fellowship, 1977

Liberal Arts Fellow, Harvard Law School, 1986-1987
Professional Experience
Harvard University, Teaching Fellow, 1967-1969

The Ohio State University, Assistant Professor of History, 1970-1977

The University of Notre Dame, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, 1977-78

The University of Georgia, Asst. Prof. (History), 1978-1982; Assoc. Prof., 1982-1986, Prof., 1986-1993, Research Prof., 1993-2001, Distinguished Research Prof. 2001-; Adj. Prof. of Law, 1993, 1996

Princeton University, Visiting Scholar, Fall 1987

Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, Fellow, Fall-Winter, 1988-1989

Daniel Lyons Distinguished Visiting Professor, Brooklyn College, 1993-1994
Research Grants and Professional Honors and Awards
Ohio State University Development Fund Summer Fellowship, 1972

National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant, 1973-1974

N.E.H. Educational Project Grant (Summer Institute), 1975

American Philosophical Society Research Grant, 1977, 1983

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Research Grant, 1978

Project `87 Research Grant, 1979

American Bar Foundation Research Fellowship, 1980-1981

N.E.H. Constitutional Summer Fellowship, 1986

University of Georgia Humanities Center Fellowship, Winter, 1989

N.E.H. Senior Fellowship, 1989-90

Golieb Fellow, New York University Law School, 1991-1992, 1995-1996

Choice Outstanding Academic Book 1991 (Law’s Conscience)

Choice Outstanding Academic Book 1993 (Law and People)

Albert Christ-Janer Award for Creative Research, University of Georgia, 1993

Wolfe Lecturer, Brooklyn College, 1994

Rorshach Lecturer, Rice University, 1994

American Library Association “Best of the Best” Book Award, 1998-99 (Salem Witchcraft Trials)

Finalist, Silver Gavel Award, American Bar Association, 2002 (Roe v. Wade)

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, 2003 (Sensory Worlds); 2004 (Past Imperfect)

Honorable mention (runner-up) Association of American Publishers Outstanding Achievement in Professional and Scholarly Publishing, 2003 (Sensory Worlds)

History News Network “Book of the Month” October 2004 (Past Imperfect)

Lowell Lecturer, National Heritage Museum, 2004

Cox News Service, Notable Books, Nonfiction, 2004 (Past Imperfect)

Best Books of the Year, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 2004 (Past Imperfect)

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speaker, New-York Historical Society, 2005

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2005 (Past Imperfect)

Scribes Award, 2007-2008 (Landmark Law Cases and American Society Series)

American Association of University Presses, Outstanding Book Award, 2008 (Essential History)

Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2008 (Essential History)

Honorable Mention (runner up), Langum Trust Prize in Legal History, 2010 (Treason Trials)


Publication in Press and Print: Books
co-author, Murdering Mothers; Infanticide in England and New England, 1558-1803. With N. E. H. Hull. New York: New York University Press, 1981. Pp. 218
author, Revolution and Regeneration, Life Cycle and Historical Vision in the Generation of 1776. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983. Pp. 181 + portraits
author and co-editor, Criminal Proceedings in Colonial Virginia, The Richmond County Courts Record, 1711-1754. Edited with an introduction by Peter Charles Hoffer. Transcribed by William Scott. American Legal Records Series-Volume 10. AHA and University of Georgia Press, 1984. Pp. lxxviii + 257
co-author, Impeachment in America, 1635-1805. With N. E. H. Hull. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984. Pp. xii + 324
editor, Early American History. New York: Garland Publishers, 1988. 18 v.
author, Liberty or Order: Two Views of American History from the Revolutionary Crisis to the Early Works of George Bancroft and Jared Sparks. Harvard Dissertations in American History and Political Science. New York: Garland.1988. Pp. 309
author, The Law's Conscience, Equitable Constitutionalism in America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 1990. Pp. 301
author, Law and People in Colonial America. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1992. Pp. 151. Revised enlarged edition, 1998. Pp. 189

co-author, Reading and Writing American History. 2v. With William Stueck and Williamjames Hoffer. Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath. 1994. Revised second edition, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Revised third edition, Boston: Pearson, 2003. Enlarged and revised fourth edition, Boston: Pearson, 2011.


author, The Devil's Disciples: The Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1996. Pp. 291
author, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1997. Pp. 189
author, The Brave New World: A History of Early America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. Pp. 560+90 illus. and 14 maps. Second edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. Pp. 544+17 line drawings.
co-author, Roe v. Wade: The Abortion Rights Controversy in American History. With N.E.H. Hull. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2001. Pp. 297. Second, enlarged and updated edition, 2010. Pp. 350
author, American History: Early Colonization to 1877. Indianapolis: The College Network, 2002. Pp. 308+10 maps. Second edition, 2010
author, The Great New York Conspiracy of 1741: Slavery, Crime, and Colonial Law. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2003. Pp. 190
author, Sensory Worlds in Early America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Pp. 334+25 ill.
co-editor, The Abortion Rights Controversy in America: A Legal Reader. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Pp. 352
author, Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, and Fraud in American History from Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellesiles, Ellis and Goodwin. New York: PublicAffairs, 2004. Pp. 287. Second, enlarged, edition, 2007. Pp. 336
author, Seven Fires: The Urban Infernos that Reshaped America. New York: PublicAffairs, 2006. Pp. 460+7 maps and 24 illus.
co-author, The Supreme Court: An Essential History. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2007. Pp. 496+25 illus.
author, The Treason Trials of Aaron Burr. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2008.

Pp. 224
author, The Historians’ Paradox: The Study of History in Our Time. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Pp. 215


author, A Nation of Laws: America’s Imperfect Pursuit of Justice. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2010. Pp. 210.
author, Cry Liberty: The Great Stono River Slave Rebellion of 1739. New York: Oxford University Press. 2011. Pp. 167 + seven illustrations and two maps by the author.
author, The Free Press Crisis of 1800: The Trial of Thomas Cooper for Seditious Libel Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. 2011. Pp. 151.
author, When Benjamin Franklin Met the Reverend Whitefield: Enlightenment, Revival, and the Power of the Printed Word. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 2011. Pp. 167 + nine illustrations and two maps.
author, For Ourselves and Our Posterity: The Preamble to the Constitution in American History. New York: Oxford University Press. 2012. Pp. 210.
author, “Introduction” to John Lofton, Denmark Vesey’s Revolt in American Abolitionism and Antislavery, series ed. John David Smith. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press. 2013. Pp. 3-10.
author, Clio among the Muses: Essays on History and the Humanities. New York: New York University Press. 2013. Pp. 200.
author, Prelude to Revolution: The Salem Gunpowder Raid of 1775. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 2013. Pp. 175 + illustrations and two maps.
author, Benjamin Franklin Explains the Stamp Act Protests to Parliament, 1766. New York: Oxford University Press. 2015. P. 112 + 7 illus.
Articles
author, "The Pleasures and Perils of Presentism: A Meditation on History and Law" Quinnipiac Law Review 33 (2015), 1-6.
author, “Plagiarism, Part One: A Guide for the Perplexed” AHA Perspectives 42 (February, 2004), 17-23, and “Plagiarism, Part Two: The Object of Trials” ibid., (March, 2004), 20-25.
author, “Abortion and Reproductive Decisions, ” “History of American Law: Colonial

Period”, “Salem Witchcraft Trials,” “Trials of Anne Hutchinson,” Oxford Companion to American Law. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002. Pp. 1-4, 364-74, 712-14, 406-7


co-author, “Historians and the Impeachment Imbroglio: In Search of A Serviceable History” Rutgers Law Journal 31 (2000), 473-490
author, “Invisible Worlds and Criminal Trials: The Cases of John Proctor and O.J. Simpson” American Journal of Legal History 51 (1997), 287-314
author, "Crime and Law Enforcement," "Common Law" in Scribner's Encyclopedia of the British North American Colonies. New York, 1994. 1:391-403, 435-439
author, "Legislatures and Impeachment" in Scribner's Encyclopedia of the American Legislative System. New York, 1994. 3:1621-1639.
author, "Text, Translation, Context, Conversation: Preliminary Notes for Decoding the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee That Wrote the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure" American Journal of Legal History. 36 (October 1993)
author, "The Mysterious Disappearance of Charles E. Clark" Cardozo Law Review. 15 (1993), 767-785.
author, "Law As Custom" William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd ser. 50 (January 1993), 160-167
author, "Felix Frankfurter," "Freedom of Contract," "Separate but Equal," and "Substantive Due Process" Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court ed. Kermit Hall. New York, 1992. Pp. 314-317, 195, 773-774, 237-239
author, "`Blind to History': The Use of History in Affirmative Action Suits" Rutgers Law Journal 23 (1992), 271-296
author, "Principled Discretion: Concealment, Conscience, and Chancellors" Yale Journal of Law and Humanities 3 (1990), 53-82
author, "Constitutional Silences: The Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in Georgia" in Robert Haws, ed., The South's Role in the Creation of the Bill of Rights. Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi. 1991. Pp. 125-146 and The Georgia Journal of Southern Legal History 1 (1991), 21-52
author, "The Declaration of Independence as a Bill in Equity" in William Pencak and Wythe Holt, eds., The Law in America, 1607-1861. New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1989. Pp. 186-209
author, "Honor and the Roots of American Litigiousness" American Journal of Legal History 33 (1989), 295-319
author, "`Their Trustees and Servants': Eighteenth-Century Maryland Lawyers and the Constitutional Implications of Equity Precepts" Maryland Historical Magazine 82 (1987), 142-158
author, "Disorder and Deference: The Paradoxes of Criminal Justice in the Colonial Tidewater" in David Bodenhamer and James Ely, Jr., eds., Ambivalent Legacy: A Legal History of the South. Jackson, Miss.: U. Pr. of Miss. 1984. Pp. 187-201

author, "Law and Liberty, In the Matter of William Smith of Philadelphia, 1758" William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Ser.38 (1981), 681-702


co-author, "Politics and Personality: Political Affiliation in Revolutionary New York" With N.E.H. Hull and Steven L. Allen in Robert Brugger, ed., Our Selves/Our Past, Psychological Perspectives on American History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981. Pp. 102-117
co-author, "Power and Precedent in the Creation of An American Impeachment Tradition" WMQ, 3rd. Ser. 36 (1979), 51-77
co-author, "The First American Impeachments" WMQ, 3rd. Ser. 35 (1978), 653-667
author, "The LR Scale Manual, A Codebook and Rationale for the Extraction of Personality Traits from Historical Manuscripts" Newberry Library Family and Community Center Historical Papers, 1978. Pp. 38
co-author, "Choosing Sides: A Quantitative Study of the Psychological Determinants of Political Affiliation" Journal of American History, 65 (1978), 344-366
author, "Psychohistory and Empirical Group Affiliation" Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 9 (1978), 131-145
co-author, "`To Determine on the Future Government': Robert Yates' Plan of Union, 1774-1775" WMQ, 3rd ser. 34 (1977), 298-306
author, "Charles Eliot Norton: Aesthetic Reformer in an Unaesthetic Age" The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 8 (1974), 19-31
author, "Fettered Loyalism: A Re-evaluation of Robert Proud's and George Chalmers' Unfinished Colonial Histories" Maryland Historical Magazine, 68 (1973), 160-172
author, "American Businessmen and the Japan Trade, 1931-1939, A Case Study of Attitude Formation" Pacific Historical Review, 41 (1972), 189-205
author, "The Constitutional Crisis and the Rise of a Nationalistic View of History in America, 1785-1789" New York History, 52 (1971), 305-323
Scholarly Papers, Panels, and other Presentations
"A History of the Federal Courts" panel, ASLH annual meeting, Denver, November 7, 2014
Comment, Religion and the Senses panel, AHA annual meeting, Washington D.C. January 4, 2014.
“The Dog that Didn’t Bark: The Federal Courts in the Civil War and Early Reconstruction,” Conference on the Civil War and Reconstruction Amendments, Cobb House, Athens, Ga., October 24, 2013
“Roe v. Wade–Once Again” Kansas City Public Library, September 19, 2013
Participant, “T.R.R. Cobb Forum on Southern Jurisprudence” Athens, Ga., August 21-22, 2009
“Sounds of Silence” Mediascapes in Early America, Duke University, February 15, 2008
“Treason Trials of Aaron Burr” New York University School of Law Legal History Colloquium, January 23, 2008
Seminar leader, Sensory history in the classroom, U,S, Department of Education and Cleveland State University, April 17-18, 2007
Panelist, “History in the Secondary Schools” Organization of American Historians, Minneapolis, March 30, 2007
Panelist, “Sensory History” American Historical Association, Atlanta, January 5, 2007
Panelist, “The Future of the Legal History Book” American Society for Legal History, Baltimore, November 18, 2006
“History of the United States Supreme Court” NYU Law School, February 8, 2006.
“What’s Wrong With History” New-York Historical Society, June 22, 2005
“An Imperfect Past” Inaugural Lecture, Friends of the Georgia Archives, Morrow Ga., June 10, 2005, and New-York Historical Society, June 22, 2005
“Booknotes” discussion of Past Imperfect November 21, 2004.
“The Way it Really Was–A Sensory History of New England” Lowell Lecture, National Heritage Museum, Lexington, Mass., October 3, 2004
Roe v. Wade as a Revolution in American Law” OAH, March 27, 2004
Panelist, “The Sounds of War” AHA, Washington, D.C., January 10, 2004
Roe v. Wade” NYU School of Law, August 30, 2000
“The Possibility of a Sensate History” Conference Honoring Bernard Bailyn [II],

Cambridge, Mass., April, 2000


Panelist, “Impeachment and the Historians” AHA, Chicago, January 8, 2000
“Impeachment in Early America: The Historical Uses of Law and the Legal Uses of History” SHEAR, Lexington, KY, July 15, 1999
“How Legal History Was Lost” NYU School of Law, February 2, 1998
“Invisible Worlds and Problem Trials: The Cases of John Proctor and O.J. Simpson” University of Pennsylvania Law School Legal History Colloquium, January 24,

1997 and the N.Y.U. Legal History Seminar, January 22, 1997


“A Nation of Lawyers” NYU School of Law, November 15, 1995
“Criminal Trials as Performances” Rutgers Law School--Camden, September 14, 1995
"Spectral Evidence in the Salem Witchcraft Trials" ASLH, Wash. D.C. October 24, 1994
"The Devil's Disciples: The Makers of the Salem Witchcraft Trials, 1692-1693"

NYU School of Law, August 31, 1994


The Diviners: Ministers, Magistrates, and the Law of Evidence in the Salem Witchcraft Trials" Rorschach Lecture, Rice University, March 17, 1994
"The Stories Historians Tell: What Really Happened at Salem in 1692" Wolfe Institute

Invited Lecture, Brooklyn College, February 17, 1994


Looking For Tituba: The Atlantic Context of the Salem Witchcraft Trials" Columbia

University Seminar in Early Modern Europe, January 26, 1994


"Beyond the Text--Early American Law as Seen, Heard, and Remembered" Eighteenth Century Studies Association, March 4, 1993, Birmingham, Ala.
"Seditious Libel and Partisan Politics in Colonial America--A Comment" ASLH, October 22, 1993, Memphis, Tennessee
"What's Source for the Goose is Discourse for the Gander: On Reading Legal Texts" NYU School of Law, September 9, 1992
"Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights" July 20-23, 1992 Jackson State University N.E.H. Seminar
"Community and Litigiousness" Law and Society Assn, Philadelphia, May 29,1992
"`Blind to History': The Use of History in Affirmative Action Suits, Another Look at Croson v. Richmond" Rutgers University-Camden Conference on the Reconstruction Amendments Then and Now, September 14, 1990
"The Lawyers and the Revolutionary Crisis" Philadelphia Transformation Project, May 5, 1990
"The Death of Discretion? The Equity Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts, 1789-1860" ASLH, San Francisco, October 22, 1989
"Honor and the Roots of American Litigiousness" Philadelphia Center for Early

American Studies, March 3, 1989


"Brown and Beyond" NYU. School of Law, February 21, 1989
"Equity and the Professors" NYU School of Law, November 22, 1988
"The Equity of Reconstruction" N.E.H. Seminar, Jackson State Univ., July 29, 1988
“The Origins of Equity Jurisdiction in America” Conference Honoring Bernard Bailyn, Cambridge, Mass., October 29, 1987; SHEAR conference, Philadelphia, July 18, 1987
“Balancing the Equities: The Nuisance Injunction, the Origins of the Managerial Court, and the Legitimacy of Equitable Discretion" NYU School of Law, April 22, 1987
"The Safety of Coming to the Judgment Day: A Historical Defense of Equitable Discretion" Charles Warren Center for Historical Studies, Harvard University,

May 14, 1987


"Constitutional Silences: The Ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in Georgia" Chancellor's Conference on Southern History, Oxford, Miss., October 7, 1987
"The Paradox of Enduring Constitutionalism: Construction and Fundamental Law"

University of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Endowment for the Humanities Bicentennial Speaker, LaCrosse, Wis. October 22, 1987


"The Declaration of Independence as a Bill in Equity" New-York Historical Society

Conference on the Law in America, New York City, May 5, 1985


"The Course in American Legal History" ASLH, Baltimore, Md., October, 1983
"Deference and Disorder: The Puzzles of Law Enforcement in the Colonial Tidewater" Conference on the Legal History of the South, Gulfport, Miss., February, 1983
"Fundamental Rights in A Changing Society" Conference on the Constitution of Georgia Sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia ACLU, February, 1983
"Crime and Law Enforcement in the Colonial South" Southern Historical Association, Louisville, Ky., November, 1981
"The First State Impeachments" AHA, Washington, D.C., December, 1980
"Abortion in the law of Early Modern England and America" ASLH, Chicago, October 20, 1978
“Toward a Psychology of Political Leadership: Historical Considerations" International Society of Political Psychology, New York City, September 2, 1978
"Punishment of Infanticide in Seventeenth-Century New England" OAH, Chicago, April 4, 1978
“Murdering Mothers--Victims of Criminals? Evidence from the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century English and American Criminal Records" Center for American Studies, Indiana University/Purdue University, March 31, 1978
"The Causes of Infanticide" Newberry Library, Chicago, February 23, 1978
"A Want of Affection--The Psychogenic Infanticide in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century England" Columbia University Seminar on Early American History and Culture, December 14, 1976
"The Harlot and the Kite, An Elizabethan Infanticide Case" Duquesne History Forum,

October 22, 1976


"Choosing Sides: The Psychological Determinants of Political Affiliation in Revolutionary New York" OAH, St. Louis, April 1976
Professional Duties
Co-editor, Dialogues in American History, Oxford University Press, 2013--
Academic Advisory Council, David Library of the American Revolution, 2013, 2014.
Fellowship Selection Committee, American Council of Learned Societies, 2013
Lead historian, Teaching American History in the Classic Region of Georgia (US Department of Education and Northeast Georgia RESA), 2010-2011
Member, editorial board, Law and History Review, 2010-2013
Elected Member, Professional Division, American Historical Association, 2002-2004

Member, Joint AHA-OAH Committee on Part-Time and Adjunct Appointment, 2003-2004


Co-editor, Landmark Law Cases and Society in America, a series of interpretative book-length essays published by the University Press of Kansas, 1993--
Co-editor, Witness to History, a series from the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006--
Co-editor, Dialogues in American History, a series from Oxford University Press, 2013--
Member, editorial board, H-Law, 2000-2007
Member and chair, Franklin College (University of Georgia) special professors

committee, 1998-2000


Panelist, N.E.H. Research Division, Reference Materials, 1992-1994, Fellowships, 1996, 1997
Consultant and Panelist, National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal, 1995
Member, Littleton-Griswold Prize Committee of the AHA, 1988-1990, 2001-2002
Member, University of Georgia Criminal Justice Studies Steering Committee, 1980-1990
Associate Fellow, Columbia University Seminar on Early American History and Culture, 1975-1981
Fellow, Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia, 1980-1981
Director, American Studies Program, Ohio State University, 1974-1976
Director, O.S.U.-N.E.H. Summer Institute on the American Revolution, 1975








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