Jessica Lepler

Phone: (603) 862-3146
Office: History, Horton Social Science Center Rm 406, Durham, NH 03824

Jessica Lepler is an associate professor of history. 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 was a co-winner of the James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic and named a finalist for the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize. 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 teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the history of early America with a particular emphasis on the culture of capitalism. She offers courses on the Early American Republic, American Intellectual History, the Emergence of Industrial America, Capitalism in the Long Nineteenth Century, and the History of Animals. Professor Lepler serves on the History Department’s Graduate Committee and on the UNH Graduate School Council. She is a co-founder of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Second-Book Writers’ Workshop, currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, and is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians. Professor Lepler is currently researching and writing a book about nineteenth-century commercial expansionism.


  • 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

Courses Taught

  • HIST 498: ExplHistPersp/Hist of Animals
  • HIST 500: Intro to Historical Thinking
  • 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

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

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

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