Meet the Director

 Jennifer Hull Dorsey, Ph.D.

Director, The McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution

Ph.D., Georgetown University
M.A., Boston College
B.A., Emory University

Curriculum Vitae 


229 Kiernan Hall                      

Siena College
515 Loudon Rd
Loudonville, NY 12211
(518) 782-6947

Dr. Dorsey has been teaching colonial and Revolutionary America at Siena College since 2008.

Her research interests are in the history of the early American republic and her scholarship focuses on the working lives of early Americans. Her first book, Hirelings: African American Workers and Free Labor in Early Maryland was published by Cornell University Press in 2011.

In the summer of 2005, she participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities' sponsored seminar "Roots: African Dimensions of the History and Culture of the Americas" at the University of Virginia.  In 2003, she was awarded the National Historic and Public Records Commission's post-doctoral Fellowship in Documentary Editing. During her post-doctoral fellowship, she worked with Professor Loren Schweninger, 1999 Pulitzer Prize award nominee and director of The Race and Slavery Petitions Project. In December 2009 Dorsey's article "A Documentary History of African American Freedom: An Introduction to the Race, Slavery and Free Blacks Microfilm Collection," appeared in Slavery Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Societies. The article offers an introduction to the microfilm collection, and identifies how the petition testimonies included in this unusual collection can inform our understanding of African American freedom before emancipation.

In the summer of 2011, Dorsey began a new research project based on the life of George Holcomb, a tenant farmer in Rensselaer County, New York. Her research is focused on the diary that Holcomb maintained for fifty years. Her long term objective is to write a history that will vividly imagine the life of an otherwise ordinary man and how it is connected to major themes in the history of labor, politics, culture, and society in early national New York. Presently, she is preparing an article about George Holcomb and his decision to evade military service during the War of 1812.

Before assuming her current position, Dorsey was an assistant professor at Arizona State University.