Joanne B. Freeman is a Professor of History at Yale
University, specializing in the political history and culture of revolutionary
and early national America, with a particular interest in honor culture and
dueling. Born in Queens, New York in 1962, she attended Pomona College in
Claremont, California, graduating in 1984. After a brief career in
advertising, she worked as a public historian for seven years, during which she
curated museum exhibits, coordinated educational programs, and gave public
lectures for institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of
Congress, the United States Department of Treasury, South Street Seaport
Museum, and the Museum of American Financial History. In 1992, she pursued
graduate study at the University of Virginia, receiving her M.A. in American
History in 1993, and her Ph.D. in 1998. In 1997, she joined the faculty of
Yale University, receiving tenure and promotion to full professorship in 2002.
Freeman's books include Affairs of Honor: National
Politics in the New Republic (Yale University Press, 2001) - which was
awarded the 'Best Book of the Year' prize by the Society of Historians of the
Early American Republic in 2002 - and Alexander Hamilton: Writings
(Library of America, 2001). Her research on Hamilton has taken her to St.
Kitts, Nevis, and Scotland, among other places, and given her the opportunity
to shoot a black-powder dueling pistol.
Professor Freeman has published numerous articles and essays
in books and professional journals, including 'Dueling as Politics:
Reinterpreting the Burr-Hamilton Duel,' William and Mary Quarterly,
April 1996; 'The Election of 1800: A Study in the Process of Political Change,'
Yale Law Journal, June 1999; 'Slander, Poison, Whispers, and Fame:
Jefferson's ďAnas' and Political Combat in the Early Republic,' Journal of
the Early Republic, Spring 1995; 'History as Told by the Devil Incarnate:
Gore Vidal's Burr,' in Novel History: History According to the
Novelists, ed. Mark Carnes (Simon & Schuster, 2001); ''The Art and Address
of Ministerial Management: Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and
Congress,' in Neither Separate Nor Equal: Congress and the Executive Branch
in the 1790s, ed. Kenneth Bowling (Ohio University Press, 2000);
'Explaining the Unexplainable: Reinterpreting the Sedition Act,' in The Democratic Experiment: New Directions in
American Political History, ed. Julian Zelizer, Meg Jacobs, and William
Novak (Princeton University Press, 2003); and 'Corruption and Compromise in the
Election of 1800: A Study in the Logic of Political Change,' in The
Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic, ed. Peter S.
Onuf and Jan Lewis (University Press of Virginia, September 2002).
A frequent lecturer on the politics and personalities of
America's founding period, Freeman has spoken at such venues as Colonial
Williamsburg, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American
History, the United States Capitol Historical Society, Monticello, and the
Hamilton Grange National Park Site, and has taught classes for the New York
Council for History Education, the New Jersey Council for History Education,
and the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She has also
advised and appeared on numerous television documentaries and educational programs,
including 'The Duel' (The American Experience, PBS), 'Founding Brothers'
(History Channel), 'Dueling in the New World' (Discovery Channel); and 'This
Week in History' (History Channel).
Professor Freeman is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization
of American Historians, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Society for
Historians of the Early American Republic and the International Center for
Jefferson Studies. She is currently working on a book about political
violence and the culture of Congress in antebellum America.