It’s Time to Make Your Arrangements for SHEAR!

View of the Colleges, at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Samuel Hill, 1790.

Hello SHEARites! The 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic is less than three months away, and plans are well underway.  On 1 May, an online version of the program will be available at; printed programs will be available to conference attendees upon check-in.

For those of you ready to make your plans, please find below information about accommodations, travel, and registration as well as the conference highlights.  If you have unanswered questions or concerns, please contact the conference coordinator directly (


Conference Hotel

The meeting will be headquartered at the Boston Marriot Cambridge, 50 Broadway, Cambridge, MA.  A block of rooms has been reserved at the conference hotel; rates are $199/single or double and are valid for up to three days before and three days after the SHEAR conference, based on availability. (A second block of rooms at the hotel has been reserved for graduate students; please see below.)

All conference attendees are responsible for making their own room arrangements directly with the hotel and we encourage you to do so online via this link. You may also call (617) 494-6600 and mention SHR. More information about the hotel and its amenities is available here.  Contact the conference coordinator immediately if you have any difficulties when reserving a room (

Graduate Student Hotel Block

Shared rooms are available for graduate students at the reduced rate of $75.00/night per person, excluding taxes.  Students interested should contact the conference coordinator directly ( by 27 June 2019 to be booked for this block. If you do not have a roommate in mind, the coordinator will keep a list to facilitate rooming options.

Getting There


Boston Logan International (BOS) is the closest airport to the conference hotel, served by domestic and international airlines with hundreds of non-stop flights daily.  The Boston Marriott Cambridge is 5 miles from the airport and can be reached by taxi, public transit, shuttles, and shared rides.  Learn more about your transportation options here:  Please note the conference hotel does not provide an airport shuttle.


Amtrak North Station is 1 mile south from the hotel; the South Station is 3 miles from the hotel.  For information about schedules and pricing, please contact AMTRAK at 800.872.7245 or


For driving directions to the conference hotel, enter your starting destination here:


Off-site parking is $45 daily; valet parking is $50 daily.  The garage height clearance is 5 feet 10 inches.


The South Station bus terminal is 3 miles southeast from the hotel.  Several bus companies serve the station including Greyhound, Peter Pan, and BoltBus.


The conference hotel is at the Kendall/MIT Red Line.  More information about MBTA can be found here:

Conference Highlights

Second Book Workshop, Thursday 18 July: Four senior scholar mentors will each facilitate a workshop session for historians of the early American republic who are currently working on second book projects.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Peabody Essex Museum Tours, Thursday 18 July: NPS Rangers will lead tours of 1675 Narbonne House, the 1762 Derby House, and the 200-year-old Salem Custom House.  Afterwards, visit the Peabody Essex Museum for a presentation by maritime historian George Schwartz, PhD and then self-tour the international collections in the PEM galleries. Bus seating is limited, and reservations are required.  Bus departs hotel at 12:00; returns by 5:30. 

Historic Salem Waterfront and Peabody Essex Museum Tours, Thursday 18 July: Margherita Desy, maritime and early U.S. Navy historian, leads a 90-minute walking tour of Salem’s waterfront.  Afterwards, visit the Peabody Essex Museum for a presentation by maritime historian George Schwartz, PhD and self-tour the international collections in the PEM galleries. Bus seating is limited, and reservations are required.  Bus departs hotel at 12:00; returns by 5:30.

Walk the Boston Freedom Trail – SHEAR Style, Thursday 18 July: Boston history expert Bob Allison will guide a tour from Boston Common North End. Along the way, visit the 1713 Old State House, the 1742 Faneuil Hall, and two colonial-era burying grounds.  Space is limited, and reservations are required.  Tour sets off from 73 Tremont St at 1:00 pm.

President’s Plenary, Thursday, 18 July: SHEAR’s 41st annual conference opens at 6:00 with the President’s Plenary, “Constituting the Unites States:  Living in the Wake of Revolution.”

Plenary Reception, Thursday 18 July: In the Marriott immediately following the President’s Plenary, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm.

Coffee and Pop with the JER Editors, Friday 19 July: Andy Shankman and David Waldstreicher invite graduate students and early career scholars to meet for an informal early-morning conversation.

2019 Program Committee Meeting, Friday 19 July: The Program Committee for the 2019 SHEAR conference in Cambridge will meet beginning at 12:30.

JER Editorial Board Meeting, Friday 19 July: The JER editorial board meets at 12:30.

Graduate Research Seminars, Friday 19 July: Continuing SHEAR’s long tradition of mentoring graduate students, nine senior scholars will lead four concurrent research seminars for advanced graduate students and recent graduates, devoted to different scholarly topics in the history of the early republic.

Black Heritage Trail and Museum of African-American History, Friday 19 July: Meet at the MAAH, 46 Joy Street.

USS Constitution Tour, Friday 19 July: Kate Monea, archivist, and Harrie Slootbeek, collections manager, of the USS Constitution Museum share rare materials from the Museum.  Next, Margherita Desy, U.S. Navy historian for USS Constitution,gives a one-hour tour of “Old Ironsides.” NOTES:  A government-issued photo I.D. is required to board the USS Constitution.  Tour includes standing and climbing ladderways between decks; comfortable shoes are recommended. Space is limited, and reservations are required.  Bus departs hotel at 3:15 and returns by 6:30.

AAS/MHS Reception, Friday 19 July: The American Antiquarian Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society welcome SHEARites at a reception from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Massachusetts Historical Society (1154 Boylston St.). 

Graduate Student Meet-n-Greet, Friday 19 July: Graduate students from the area will welcome their colleagues at an informal gathering beginning at 9:00 p.m.

Boydston Women’s Breakfast, Saturday 20 July: The women of SHEAR will gather from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. for their eleventh annual breakfast honoring the life and career of long-time SHEAR member and supporter Jeanne Boydston.  Tickets are $25.00 for a hearty and heartening breakfast; reservations are required.  Please consider sponsoring a graduate student or an early-career scholar this year.

SHEAR Advisory Council, Saturday 20 July:  The Advisory Council meets at noon.

Presidential Address, Saturday 20 July: The 2019 presidential address begins at 7:00 pm in Milstein Hall at Harvard Law School. President Annette Gordon-Reed will discuss Jefferson Matters:  Situating an Eighteenth-Century Founder in Twenty-First-Century America.  The President’s Address is free and open to all conference participants.  Shuttle buses will circle between hotel and HLS starting at 6:00 and run until 10:00 pm.

Awards Reception, Saturday 20 July: The SHEAR awards reception follows immediately after the presidential address in Milstein Hall at Harvard Law School. Shuttle buses will circle between hotel and HLS starting at 6:00 and run until 10:00 pm.

Tour of Historical Concord, Sunday 21 July: Led by Concord history expert Bob Gross, tour begins at the Minuteman National Historical Park.  Visit the Old North Bridge, the Old Manse (home of Ralph Waldo Emerson and later Nathaniel Hawthorne) and Robbins House (home of multiple African-American families including descendants of Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins). Encounter Revolutionary landmarks such as the Wright Tavern, the First Parish meeting house, and site of Henry David Thoreau’s lectures.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Bus departs hotel at 1:15; returns by 5:45.

Harvard and Slavery Walk, and Royall House Tour, Sunday 21 July:  Walk is led by Dr. Caitlin Hopkins, Lecturer and Research Associate at Harvard University, who is currently investigating Harvard and slavery for the Office of the President. During the walk, she will share recent discoveries on the role of enslaved people and the slave trade in Harvard’s long history.  After the walk, you’ll travel by bus to the Royall House and Slave Quarters in nearby Medford for a docent-led tour. This eighteenth century home of the Royall family includes the only extant freestanding slave quarters in the northern United States. Space is limited and reservations are required.   Bus departs hotel at 1:30 pm and returns at approximately 5:30 pm.


Information about the conference is available under “Annual Meeting” on the SHEAR website.  Preregistration opens 1 May and is $78 for members and $114 for nonmembers; graduate students, public history professionals, independent scholars, and k-12 educators pay $52 (inclusive of online transaction fee).  Once again this year, SHEAR will waive the conference registration fee for all graduate students appearing on the program.  Pre-reregistration must be completed online by Wednesday 3 July 2019.  You do not need to be a member of SHEAR to present at the conference, but everyone on the program must register.

If you do not preregister, you may register on-site at the conference. The on-site price will include a $30 on-site registration fee and must be paid in cash or a check made out to SHEAR.

On-site conference check-in will be open at the Marriott from 5:00 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, July 18. Registration will continue on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday, July 21, from 8:00 am to 10:30 am.

If you have questions about registration or any aspect of the conference itself, please feel free to contact me by email at

I look forward to seeing you in Cambridge this July and, as always, I send you traveling mercies.

Robyn Lily Davis, Ph.D.

SHEAR National Conference Coordinator