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Craig Gallagher

ph.d. candidate

Craig Gallagher


Office: Stokes Hall, Office S354

Dissertation Committee: Owen Stanwood (advisor), Kevin Kenny, Penelope Ismay

Curriculum Vitae


PhD Candidate in History, Boston College
MA in History, Central Michigan University, 2010
BA with Honours in History, University of Strathclyde, 2009

Research Interests:

My research focuses on Scots who lived in worked in the American colonies in the decades before the Anglo-Scots Treaty of Union in 1707. I am particularly interested in those Scottish Presbyterians known to history as the Covenanters, and their engagement with European colonial empires in the second half of the seventeenth century. These men and women continued to preach the more radical tenets of Covenanting ideology, such as opposition to episcopacy, popery, and absolutist monarchy, that had been de rigueur in Scotland in the 1630s and 1640s but which had been repressed by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s and systematically outlawed as seditious by King Charles II after 1660.

Many of these Covenanters fled to the Americas, citing royal persecution and winnowing economic opportunities in Scotland, where they lived under the auspices of the English, Dutch, French, and Spanish empires in the New World. My dissertation will explore how their anti-episcopal, anti-popish, and increasingly anti-Stuart attitudes shaped their interactions with these empires through the local alliances they developed in their new homes. It will also chart the increasingly complex and far-reaching correspondence and trade networks they fashioned in order to overcome the perceived disadvantages they faced as a result of their faith. These networks became influential institutions in the last decade of the seventeenth century and the first of the eighteenth, capable of shaping imperial policy throughout the Atlantic World by sponsoring smuggling operations and financing new colonial projects, such as that by the Scots to settle the Darién isthmus in 1698, that threatened the interest of the major European powers of the age.

Fellowships and Awards

  • Summer Research Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Boston College, June-August 2014
  • Graduate Student Paper Prize “for best paper read at the conference by a graduate student”, The Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies (MACBS), May 5th, 2013
  • Research Grant, The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Spring 2013
  • The Marinell Ash Award, The Strathmartine Trust, Spring 2013 (Biannual Study Grant)
  • Graduate Fellow, Clough Center For Constitutional Democracy
  • Clough Center for Constitutional Democracy Travel Grant, 2012
  • University Fellowship, Boston College

Conference Presentations:

  • “‘Much to our Prejudice’; Scottish Religious Networks in the English Atlantic World,” North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS) Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, scheduled to present November 9th, 2014
  • “Covenanted, Commercial, Clannish?: How Scots Formed Alliances in the Early Modern Atlantic World,” BGEAH (British Group on Early American History) Annual Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, scheduled to present September 5th, 2014
  • “Covenants and Commerce: informal Scottish networks in the imperial Atlantic World”, Circuits of Knowledge (15th – 19th Century): The Third Summer Academy of Atlantic History, University of Hamburg, Germany, August 24th-29th 2013
  • “Covenants and Commerce: Scottish Networks in the English Atlantic”, The Mid-American Conference on British Studies (MACBS), Lehman College, NY, March 23rd 2013
  • “‘Thou Land Devourest Men’: Scotland, the Darién Expedition and the European Balance of Power”, The British Scholar Society’s “Britain and the World” Conference, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, June 23rd, 2012