Jessica Lepler

Phone: (603) 862-3146
Office: History, Horton Social Science Center Rm 420, Durham, NH 03824

Dr. Jessica Lepler is an associate professor of history. At UNH, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the History of Animals, Early American Republic, American Intellectual History, the Emergence of Industrial America, Capitalism in the Long Nineteenth Century, Historiography, Historical Methods, and Professionalization for Historians.

In 2013, Cambridge University Press published Professor Lepler’s first book, _The Many Panics of 1837: People, Politics, and the Creation of a Transatlantic Financial Crisis._ It won the James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and was a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize. Professor Lepler is currently researching and writing a book under contract with the University of North Carolina Press entitled _Canal Dreamers: The Epic Quest to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific in the Age of Revolutions_. During the Fall 2023 term, she is on research leave from UNH as the 2023-2024 Central American Visiting Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

Professor Lepler earned her B.A. in history and religious traditions of the West from Newcomb College of Tulane University. As an undergraduate, she also studied at Mansfield College, Oxford University. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Brandeis University. The Society of American Historians awarded her doctoral dissertation the 2008 Allan Nevins Prize. She has also been the recipient of a Hench Post-Dissertation Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society, a Dissertation Fellowship from the Library Company of Philadelphia’s Program in Early American Economy and Society, a John E. Rovensky Dissertation Fellowship in Business History, and a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to her arrival at UNH in 2008, Professor Lepler was a visiting assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University.

Professor Lepler co-founded the Second-Book Writers’ Workshop of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She has served on the Advisory Council of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and as a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians.

Courses Taught

  • HIST 498: ExplHistPersp/Hist of Animals
  • HIST 500: Intro to Historical Thinking
  • HIST 520: History of Animals
  • HIST 606/806: History of the Early Republic
  • HIST 612/812: Emergence Industrial America
  • HIST 621/821: History of American Thought
  • HIST 690/890: Sem/Amer Culture&Capitalism
  • HIST 939: Readings Early American Hist
  • HIST 971: History Proseminar
  • HIST 989: Research Sem Early Amer Hist
  • HIST 997: Dir Read/Early American Hist


  • Ph.D., History, Brandeis University
  • M.A., History, Brandeis University
  • B.A., Religious Studies, Tulane University
  • B.A., History, Tulane University

Research Interests

  • Intersection between culture, capitalism, and diplomacy in the nineteenth century

Selected Publications

  • Lepler, J. M. (2018). Exeter’s Declaration of Independence: A Festival, A Broadside, and A Lesson in Public History. Common-place, 18(1).

  • Lepler, J. M. (2013). Many Panics of 1837: People, Politics, and the Creation of a Transatlantic Financial Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Lepler, J. (2012). ‘THE NEWS FLEW LIKE LIGHTNING’. Journal of Cultural Economy, 5(2), 179-195. doi:10.1080/17530350.2012.660784

  • Lepler, J. (2011). 'To save the commercial community of New York': Panicked Business Elites in 1837. In Unknown Book (pp. 117-138). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

  • Lepler, J. M. (2010). Pictures of Panic: Constructing Hard Times in Words and Images. Common-place, 10(3).