Grant E. Stanton


Ph.D. Candidate

Colonial & Early America; Atlantic World

Grant E. Stanton is a doctoral candidate whose research interests range widely across the landscape of early modern American (pre-1865) and Atlantic history. His work has been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed, popular, and digital outlets, including Early American Studies, the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Slavery, Law, and Power Project, and the Magazine of Early American Datasets. His scholarship has received special recognition from, among others, the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and the College of William and Mary. Grant's work has also been supported through fellowships offered by the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Clements Library, and the National Endowment for the Humanities with Philadelphia's Christ Church, among others.

Before coming to Penn, Grant received his M.A. and B.A. from the University of Chicago and the University of California - Santa Barbara, respectively, and taught courses in American and World history at Bakersfield College. In 2020, Grant was awarded Teaching Assistant of the Year by Penn's History Department. In Fall 2022, he was adjunct instructor in History at the College of New Jersey, teaching African American History to 1865.

Grant's dissertation studies the birth of formal Black politics in the American Revolution, including the central role Black colonists played in effecting the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts.

Outside of his dissertation, Grant is investigating the establishment, politicization, demise and revival of Black education programs in Philadelphia from 1758 to 1845, and a third project which uses insults as an entry point for understanding the enfolded prejudices that structured early American moral culture.

Advisor: Daniel K. Richter

Committee: Christopher L. Brown, Kathleen M. Brown, Sarah L.H. Gronningsater, Sophia Rosenfeld


M.A., Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2017
B.A., History (Honors) and Political Science (Honors), University of California - Santa Barbara, 2016

Research Interests

Early America; African American History; Race and Slavery; Law and Politics; Intellectual History; American Revolution; Atlantic World

Courses Taught

Instructor of Record:

African American History to 1865, The College of New Jersey

World History from the Origins of Civilizations to 1600, Bakersfield College

California History, Bakersfield College

Teaching Assistant:

History of American Law to 1877, with Sarah L.H. Gronningsater

History of American Law from 1877, with Sarah Barringer Gordon

American Capitalism, with Walter Licht

Deciphering America, with Kathleen Brown and Walter Licht

Selected Publications

“Somerset’s Boston, Boston’s Somerset,” in Somerset@250: Facts, Interpretations, Legacies, eds. Matthew Mason and David Waldstreicher (forthcoming)

“The Freedom Petitions: Black Patriotism, Black Politics, and the Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts, 1773-1783,” Early American Studies (forthcoming, spring 2024)

Co-author with John C. van Horne, "The Philadelphia Bray Schools: A Story of Black Education in Early America, 1758–1845," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 147, no. 3 (2023): 75-104.

Editor, “Petitioner Appeals in The Massachusetts Spy,” Slavery, Law, and Power in the British Empire and Early America,

Co-editor with John C. van Horne, “Bray School Enrollments for Free and Enslaved Black Children, 1758-1845,” Magazine of Early American Datasets,

Schools for Black American children predated the Revolution,Washington Post, February 27, 2023

The Unsung Black Patriots of Revolutionary Boston,The Boston Globe, July 3, 2022

Before July 4, American colonists celebrated Pope’s Day — an anti-Catholic rallying cry,The Washington Post, July 2, 2021