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Elaine Forman Crane

Dr. Elaine Forman Crane

Distinguished Professor of History
Office: Dealy Hall 609


PhD, New York University

MA, New York University

BA, Cornell University

Research Interests

Author of Witches, Wife Beaters, and Whores: Common Law and Common Folk in Early America (Cornell Press, 2011), Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell (Cornell University Press, 2002), Ebb Tide in New England : Women, Seaports, and Social Change 1630-1800 (Northeastern University Press, 1998), and A Dependent People: Newport , Rhode Island , in the Revolutionary Era (Fordham University Press, 1985). Editor of The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker, 3 volumes (1991), which was also published in a one-volume abridged version by Northeastern University Press in 1994. She has published numerous articles, including “Political Dialogue and the Spring of Abigail’s Discontent,” in the William and Mary Quarterly (Oct. 1999), and “’I Have Suffer’d Much Today’: The Social Dynamics of Pain in Early America,” in Through a Glass Darkly: Reflections on Personal Identity in Early America, a collection of essays published by the University of North Carolina Press to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute for Early American History and Culture. She is currently working on a non-fiction book called The Poison Plot, which tells the story of an attempted murder case in 1738 where a dissatisfied wife sought to rid herself of a cumbersome husband.

Dr. Crane’s courses have increasingly taken on a transatlantic and interdisciplinary approach. At the undergraduate level she teaches courses on American constitutional and legal history, the American colonies and Revolution, women’s history and gender roles in America . She teaches similar courses at the graduate level, as well as a team taught course with Dr. Nancy Curtin entitled “Politics of Empire: Ireland and America.

Courses Taught


HSRU 3653 – Gender in Early America

HSRU 3655 - America: First 200 Years

HSRU 3656 - The American Revolution

HSRU 3658 - Gender Roles in America

HSRU 4650 - SEM: History and Fiction

HSRU 4652 – SEM: Laws and Outlaws

HSRU 4655 - SEM: American Feminist Literature

Graduate Courses:

HSGA 6618 – Gender Roles in Early America

HSGA 6612 – Early Modern Atlantic History

Curriculum Vitae