View the H-Law Discussion Logs by month
View the Prior Message in H-Law's March 2007 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
View the Next Message in H-Law's March 2007 logs by: [date] [author] [thread]
Visit the H-Law home page.
Winthrop D. Jordan died on Saturday, 24 February 2007, after a long illness. Born in 1931 and educated at Harvard University [where he received his B.A.], Jordan then earned the M.A. at Clark University and the Ph.D. at Brown University. From 1963 to 1982 he was professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley; thereafter, he was Professor of History and Afro-American Studies at the University of Mississippi. Jordan was best known for two books. His first book, WHITE OVER BLACK: AMERICAN ATTITUDES TOWARD THE NEGRO, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1968; many later paperback editions), won many leading awards, including the National Book Award, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Bancroft Prize. It still stands as the starting-point for any historical investigation of the evolution of ideas of race in colonial, Revolutionary, and early national America. Jordan published an abridged version: THE WHITE MAN'S BURDEN: HISTORICAL ORIGINS OF RACISM IN THE UNITED STATES (Oxford University Press, 1974), that became a widely-used supplemental text in a wide array of history, African-American studies, law, and political science courses. His other landmark study, TUMULT AND SILENCE AT SECOND CREEK: AN INVESTIGATION INTO A CIVIL WAR SLAVE CONSPIRACY (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993; paperback edition with revisions, 1995), won Jordan a second Bancroft Prize, as well as the Eugene M. Kayden National Universities Press Book Award and the Jules and Frances Landry Award. In this book, which David Brion Davis praised in the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS as "one of the most remarkable feats of detective work achieved by a modern historian," Jordan reconstructed the history of an aborted slave revolt on the eve of the Civil War and the white majority's brutal countermeasures against it -- countermeasures so effective that they all but blotted the event out of historical memory. Jordan also edited or co edited several volumes of documentary sources and historical essays, and was principal co-author or co-author of several widely-used history textbooks. Those who knew Professor Jordan often have testified to his generosity and kindness to fellow scholars and students alike. Those who, like the present writer, only knew him from his books still were able to draw intellectual sustenance and inspiration from the work of a historical master. The following announcement of a memorial service for Professor Jordan, posted by his colleague Professor Sheila Skemp, appeared on H-SHEAR: * * * * Many of you have already heard that Winthrop D. Jordan passed away Sunday morning after a long illness. He was himself--wryly humble, thoughtful, and even funny right up until the end. There will be a "Celebration of his Life" on the campus of the University of Mississippi on Monday, March 5, at 7:00 p.m. Further details are available on the University Website (olemiss.edu). In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer that you send donations to the Interfaith Compassionate Memories, 949 South Lamar, Oxford, MS 38566, or to a charity of your choice. Sheila Skemp Professor Department of History University of Mississippi * * * * R. B. Bernstein * Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School, 57 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013-2960 * Author, Thomas Jefferson (Oxford Univ. Press, 2003; pbk, 2005) * Member, Board of Directors, American Society for Legal History * Member, Editorial Board, H-LAW http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~law/ <https://owa.nyls.edu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~law/> * Director of Online Operations, Heights Books, Inc., 109 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 * firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org