Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Grinnell College
Website URL
Monuments, American Revolution, Mourning, Funerals, Heroism, Military History, Political History, Newspapers, Nineteenth Century, Eighteenth Century, Early Republic, Antebellum, Memory, Digital Humanities, Virtual Reality
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Sarah J. Purcell is the L. F. Parker Professor of History at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.  She is an expert on eighteenth and nineteenth century U.S. History, public memory, political culture, and military history. She is the author of Sealed with Blood: War Sacrifice and Memory in Revolutionary America (U. Penn Press, 2002) and The Early American Republic: An Eyewitness History (Facts on File, 2004). She is co-author of The Encyclopedia of Battles in North America, 1517-1916 (Facts on File, 2000) and Critical Lives: The Life and Work of Eleanor Roosevelt (Alpha/Pearson, 2001). She is also one of the co-authors of American Horizons: U.S. History in a Global Perspective, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 2017), the first textbook that places U.S. history in a global context. She is currently writing a book entitled Spectacle of Grief: Political Funerals and the Memory of the U.S. Civil War.  Purcell is also a digital humanist involved in teaching and researching a variety of digital historical scholarly projects, including mapping and Virtual Reality projects.

Recent Publications

Co-Author, American Horizons: U.S. History in a Global Perspective, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 2017)


“Mourning Charles Sumner: The Flag Resolution and the Complications of Civil War Memory,” in Massachusetts and the Civil War, (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015), 227-248.

“Memory” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Cultural and Intellectual History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013) Vol. II: 708-712.

“Martyred Blood and Avenging Spirits: Revolutionary Martyrs and Heroes as Inspiration for the U.S. Civil War,” in Remembering the Revolution: Memory, History, and Nation-Making in the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, ed. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, Frances Clark, Claire Corbould, and Michael A. McDonnell (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), 280-293.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, American Revolution, American Founding Era, American Presidents, Book History, Military, Pedagogy, Politics, Technology