Rodney Hessinger, associate professor of history and associate dean of the College, begins a month-in-residence with the Library Company in Philadelphia on July 17. His research topic for the residency is “Sexual Scandal and Sectarian Conflict in the Second Great Awakening.” Hessinger will examine anti-Catholic expressions during the early nineteenth century.
The Library Company, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731, was the largest public library in America until the latter part of the 19th century, and contains printed materials relating to every aspect of American culture and society in that period. It holds over half a million rare books and graphics, including the nation’s second largest collection of pre-1801 American imprints and one of the largest collections of 18th century British books in America.
Hessinger will also present a paper at the Society for the Historians of the Early American Republic conference. The paper is titled, “Tarring and Feathering a Prophet: The Meaning of a Violent Assault in Ohio’s Western Reserve.” It is an analysis of why Mormon founder Joseph Smith was attacked in Hiram, Ohio in 1832.