- Yale University Press
Polygamy: An Early American History
- Sarah M S Pearsall
- Yale University Press
- 9.3 X 6.4 X 1.3 inches
- 1.6 pounds
- History > United States - Colonial Period (1600-1775)
Today we tend to think of polygamy as an unnatural marital arrangement characteristic of fringe sects or uncivilized peoples. Historian Sarah Pearsall shows us that polygamy's surprising history encompasses numerous colonies, indigenous communities, and segments of the American nation. Polygamy--as well as the fight against it--illuminates many touchstones of American history: the Pueblo Revolt and other uprisings against the Spanish; Catholic missions in New France; New England settlements and King Philip's War; the entrenchment of African slavery in the Chesapeake; the Atlantic Enlightenment; the American Revolution; missions and settlement in the West; and the rise of Mormonism.
Pearsall expertly opens up broader questions about monogamy's emergence as the only marital option, tracing the impact of colonial events on property, theology, feminism, imperialism, and the regulation of sexuality. She shows that heterosexual monogamy was never the only model of marriage in North America.
Sarah Pearsall received a Bachelor's degree from Yale University, a Master's degree from Clare College, Cambridge University (where she was the Paul Mellon Fellow), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in early American history from Harvard University, where Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich was her advisor.
She was subsequently the Mellon Fellow in American History and a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge. She has held teaching positions at St Andrews University, Northwestern University, and Oxford Brookes University (where she was Reader in American History).
Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the British Academy, the American Historical Association, the Huntington Library, and the Newberry Library, among others. She was the Senior Fellow at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas in 2017-2018. She joined the Cambridge Faculty in 2012.
She is a Director of Studies in history at Robinson College, where she has also been a graduate tutor.
Source: University of Cambridge Faculty of History
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