Mark Schmeller

Associate Professor, History


Contact Information

509 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-4639


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2001


United States cultural and intellectual history, 18th and 19th centuries; communications history; political thought


American History to 1865

The Age of Jefferson and Jackson

Conspiracy Theories in U.S. History

The World of Alexander Hamilton

Foundations of American Political Thought

Modern American Political Thought

The Civil War and Reconstruction

The History of Humanitarianism


Mark Schmeller is a historian of early United States political thought and culture. Before joining the faculty at Syracuse, he taught at Binghamton University, Rice University, and Northeastern Illinois University. He has received fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. He is the author, most recently, of Invisible Sovereign: Imagining Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction, which was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2016. Schmeller is currently at work on two projects: one a brief history of the 1826 kidnapping of William Morgan, a Freemason who had threatened to reveal the secrets of his order; the other a larger history of the role and meaning of oaths in American legal and political culture from the colonial era to the present. 


Invisible Sovereign: Imagining American Public Opinion from the Revolution to Reconstruction (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016)

"Arguments over Public Credit Spawned New Ideas About Politics," in Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 3rd ed., Richard Brown and Benjamin Carp, eds. (Cengage, 2013).

"The Political Economy of Opinion: Public Credit and Concepts of Public Opinion in the Age of Federalism" The Journal of the Early Republic 29:1 (Spring 2009).

"Newspapers and the Cant of Civility." Common-place 9.5 (2009).

Research Grants and Awards

Charles Warren Center Fellow, Harvard University, 2005-2006

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College Teachers, July 2005

Research Fellow in the Program in Early American Medicine, Science and Society, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2001

Von Holst Prize Lectureship in History, 1998

Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, 1991-1997

Jacob K. Javits Graduate Fellowship, 1991 (awarded but declined)

Recent Guest Performances

 "Filling the Box: Jury Selection and the Politics of Jeffersonian Judicial Reform." Paper presented to conference on Jeffersonian Democracy from Theory to Practice, Princeton University, 2012

"The Party System and the Public Sphere." Paper presented at annual conference of the Social Science History Association, Chicago, 2010

"Twelve Hungry Men: The Reform of Juries - and Jurors - in the Early Republic." Paper presented to Ab Initio: Law in Early America Conference, University of Pennsylvania, 2010

"Corn Pone Opinions: Transatlantic Liberalism, Political Economy, and the Higher Journalism in the Late Nineteenth Century"              Paper presented to annual conference of the U.S. Intellectual History Association, New York City, 2010

"Paper Pence and Public Faith: Credit, Currency, and Political Economies of Opinion." Paper presented to Symposium on Public Opinion, the Press, and Journalists in the Eighteenth Century. University of Paris-Diderot, 2008

"Manufactories of Public Sentiment: Party, Technology, and the Concept of Public Opinion, 1820-1850" Paper Presented to Newberry Library Seminar in Technology, Politics and Culture, 2008

"Having Opinions: Philosophy, Popular Sciences of Mind, and the Victorian Self"                Paper Presented to Charles Warren Center Seminar in American History, 2006