Journal highlights New Nation Votes Project

The latest issue of the Journal of the Early Republic is composed of articles written using data found in the voting records which comprise the A New Nation Votes project. The opening article by Caroline F. Sloat provides a succinct introduction to the history of the project and to Phil Lampi, the gatherer of the data (and 2013 Tufts honorary degree recipient.) The Journal is full of articles by premier scholars who have long been associated with the project, including John L. Brooke, Donald Ratcliffe, Rosemarie Zagarri, and Andrew W. Robertson. Yet, to me, the most exciting article is by Lampi himself in which he discusses the resurgence of the Federalist Party between 1808-1816. My first job at Tufts was doing data entry for Virginia votes for this project. I had studied history during my undergraduate education (mostly European, admittedly), and was just returning to graduate school to get a masters degrees in library science and history. I was immediately taken by the number of Federalists who where running in - and winning - elections in Virginia well past the end of the War of 1812. All of the scholarship I had encountered previously told me that the Federalist party was long dead and buried by this point. But here was the data showing this conventional wisdom wasn't supported by the numbers. This one encounter showed me the power this data holds, and I am very heartened whenever Phil gets to share what he's found and whenever he gets the recognition he so truly deserves.

I would strongly encourage you to check out your local library to access this Journal. If they don't carry the print copy, see if they subscribe to JSTOR or ProjectMUSE online resources.