I’m looking forward to presenting at next week’s Society for Historians of the Early Republic (SHEAR) meeting in Philadelphia, a conference, by the way, that does not suffer from many of these problems. I’ll do my best to blog and tweet during the conference, in between attending panels and losing money to Jim Broussard and the Penny Post Crew.

For those interested, here is a .pdf copy of my paper, entitled “Masculinity and Familial Relations in the Early Republic South: A Study of Andrew Jackson’s Advice to His Male Wards.” I’m examining Jackson’s advice to three relatives:

Andrew Jackson Donelson

Andrew Jackson, Jr.

Andrew Jackson Hutchings

Wish me and the audience luck in keeping the four AJs straight.

Some caveats about the paper:

1. Conference presentations are usually limited to 20 minutes, or a paper of approx. 8-10 pages in length, depending on one’s reading speed. Of necessity, then, this paper is an overview. It could have been expanded to incorporate other aspects of Jackson’s relationship with his male wards. (If you’re interested in those other aspects, you’ll have to buy the Jackson biography when it comes out!) Except for the analysis of Lorri Glover’s book, Southern Sons, I also tried to confine historiography to the footnotes.

2. I’ve learned to write my papers as presentations. (Early in my career, I emulated other presenters, who essentially wrote 20-25 pp. papers, then cut it down, sometimes as they were reading to the audience.) I won’t claim to be entirely successful, but I tried to present my arguments and supporting evidence clearly and succinctly. We’ll see how that pans out.

I hope to spin an article out of an expanded version of the paper, so if you have comments on, or criticism of, the paper, please feel free to share, either here or in person at SHEAR.


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