Montana State University

Department of History and Philosophy

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-4395
Fax: (406) 994-7420
Location: Wilson Hall 2-155

Department Chair

Dr. David Cherry

Billy Smith, History Professor

Distinguished Professor of Letters & Sciencesmith

Current Semester

Spring 2014 Courses:

HSTA 416: Race and Class In America

HSTR 499R: Senior Capstone: Historical Methodology

Advising: History BA, American History, Graduate Program

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1:00-2:00pm, Fridays, 11:00am-12:00pm, and by appointment

Office: Wilson 2-166


Phone: (406) 994-5207

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Early America

Race, Class, and Slavery


Mapping early America


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1981

Select Publications

Ship of Death: The Voyage that Changed the Atlantic World (National Geographic Books,             forthcoming 2012).

Class Matters: Early North America and the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press,      2008).  With Simon Middleton

Down and Out In Early America (University Park, Pa.: Penn State Press, 2004).

Encyclopedia of American History: Colonization and Settlement, 1685-1763 (New York: Facts on File, 2003); revised edition 2009.

"A Melancholy Scene of Devastation": The Public Response to the 1793 Philadelphia Yellow    Fever Epidemic (Philadelphia: Science History Publications, 1997).  With J. Worth Estes.

Life in Early Philadelphia: Documents from the Revolutionary and Early National Periods       (University Park, Pa.: Penn State Press, 1995). 

The Infortunate: The Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, An Indentured Servant   (University Park, Pa.: Penn State Press, 1992).  With Susan E. Klepp.  Revised second edition, 2005.

The "Lower Sort:" Philadelphia's Laboring People, 1750‑1800 (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1990). 

Blacks Who Stole Themselves: Advertisements for Runaways in the Pennsylvania Gazette,       
1728‑1790 (Philadelphia: Univ of Pennsylvania Press, 1989).  With Richard Wojtowicz.

Co-editor of “Class and Early America,” an issue of the William and Mary Quarterly, Spring,
2006.  With Simon Middleton. 

Co-editor of an edition of Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal: “Deference in    Early North America.” 

Co-editor of an edition of Labor: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas (Fall 2004): "Class Analysis in Early America and the Atlantic World: Foundations and Future."  With Simon Middleton.

“Benjamin Franklin: Civic Improver,” in Page Talbott, ed., Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2005), 91-124. 

"Resisting Inequality: Black Women Who Stole Themselves in Eighteenth‑Century America" in Carla Gardina Pestana and Sharon V. Salinger., eds., Inequality in Early America (Hanover, N.H: University Press of New England, 1999), 134-159.

“Walking Moraley’s Streets: Philadelphia,” COMMON-PLACE, 3:4 (July, 2003)

"Laboring Americans and the American Revolution," Labor History, Volume 24, No. 3 (Summer, 1983), 414‑439.  With Gary B. Nash and Dirk Hoerder.          

"The Material Lives of Laboring Philadelphians, 1750‑1800," William and Mary Quarterly, XXXVIII, 3d Series (April, 1981), 163‑202.  Reprinted several times in anthologies.

"Poverty and Economic Marginality in Eighteenth‑Century America," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 32, No. 1 (1988), 85‑118.

"Comment" on Standards of Living in British America, William and Mary Quarterly, XLV, 3d Series (January, 1988), 163‑66.

"Inequality in Late Colonial Philadelphia: A Note on Its Nature and Growth," William and Mary Quarterly, XLI, 3d Series (October, 1984), 629‑645.

Awards, Honors, and Affiliations

NEH Fellow, The Library Company of Philadelphia, 2010

Grant from INBRE (National Institute of Health), 2009-10 and 2010-11

Elected Member of the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, Mass.), 2006

Acclaimed at the Early American Salon in Philadelphia as one of the two best stand-up comedians among Early American Historians

L&S Research Enhancement awards 2004-07

James and Mary Ross Provost’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, 2000

Grant from the Hewlett Foundation to “reinvent” the MSU CORE ($150,000) in 1998‑2000, and
            renewal ($150,000) in 2000-02 (a member of a five-person committee)

Scholarship and Creativity Grant, MSU, 1999-2000, 2000-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-07

Exceptional Opportunities Grant, MSU, 1998‑1999

Cox Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research at MSU, 1994

Research Grants from the American Philosophical Society, Fall, 1982 and Summer, 1993

Sabbatical from MSU, 1991‑92, 2000-01

Wiley Award for Outstanding Research at MSU, 1991

American Antiquarian Society & National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1991‑92

Mortar Board Professor of the Month for Outstanding Teaching at MSU, February, 1990

Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies, 1982‑83

Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1982 and 1988

Fellowship from the Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Fall, 1982 and Fall, 1984

Grant from Montanans on a New Track for Science (a program funded in part by the National Science Foundation), 1982‑83, 83‑84, 84‑85, 86‑87

Research‑Creativity Grant, Montana State University, 1982‑83, 84‑85, 85‑86, 87‑88, 88‑89,           89‑90, 90‑91, 92‑93, 93‑94, 95‑96, 96‑97

Grants from Montana Committee for the Humanities, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001