Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

George and Ann RichardsCivil War Era Center

Colored Conventions
Rachel A. Shelden
Rachel A. Shelden

Rachel A. Shelden

Director, George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center
Associate Professor of History
108 Weaver Building, University Park, PA 16802

Dr. Shelden specializes in the long nineteenth century. Her research and teaching interests include slavery and abolition, the Civil War, the U.S. South, and political and constitutional history. She is the author of Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, & the Coming of the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2013), which received honorable mention for the Wiley-Silver Prize for the best first book on the American Civil War. Professor Shelden is co-editor, with Gary Gallagher, of A Political Nation: New Directions in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Political History (University of Virginia Press, 2012). Her current project explores the political culture of the U.S. Supreme Court from the Jacksonian Era to the 1890s.


Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2011

M.A., University of Virginia, 2006

B.A., Stanford University, 2003

Areas of Specialization:

Nineteenth Century U.S.: