Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Christopher Pearl

Christopher Pearl


B.A., St. John Fisher College
M.A., SUNY Brockport
Ph.D., Binghamton University

Contact Information:

(570) 321-4177
Campus Post Office Box 3

Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Department


Pearl’s research interests are in early American history, especially the American Revolution. His first book, Conceived in Crisis: The Revolutionary Creation of an American State (UVA, 2020) explores how ineffective colonial governance and British imperial politics precipitated a process of state formation that was accelerated by the demands of the Revolutionary War. His current book project, Declaration(s) of Independence (forthcoming with UVA Press ’24), explores the long struggle for sovereignty and independence between Indigenous nations, rebellious squatters, and avaricious land speculators in the Northern Susquehanna River Valley during the eighteenth century.

Pearl grew up in Allegany, N.Y., (small town on the border of New York and Pennsylvania), about two hours north of Williamsport. Like his research, his classes focus on many interesting facets of early American political and legal culture. In his classes, students explore fascinating topics such as the Salem Witch Trials, the vigilante actions of Regulators in colonial North America, the popular politics of the American Revolution, and the intersection of law and society in early America.

Selected Publications

  • Reconsidering the Critical Period, with Douglas Bradburn. University of Virginia Press, University of Virginia Press, 2022.
  • “Becoming Patriots: The Struggle for Inclusion and Exclusion on Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Frontier,” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, 88, no. 3 (2021), 362-401
    • Winner of the Philip S. Klein Article Prize (’23)
  • Conceived in Crisis: The Revolutionary Creation of an American State. University of Virginia Press, 2020.
  • “Our God, and Our Guns”: Religion and Politics on the Revolutionary Frontier” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, 85, no. 1 (2018), 58-89.
  • “Pulpits of Revolution: Presbyterian Political Thought in the Era of the American Revolution,” The Journal of Presbyterian History, 95 No. 1 Spring/Summer 2017, 4-17.
  • With Lycoming College student Maggie Slawson '17, "No Sunshine Patriots: Three Stories of Revolution on the West Branch,"  The Journal of the Lycoming County Historical Society, Vol. LII (2016), 2-10.


Junior Faculty Teaching Award (2015)
Lycoming College

Howard C. Berthold Faculty Research and Information Competencies Award (2016)
Lycoming College

Research Grants & Fellowships

David Center for the American Revolution
Resident Research Fellowship 2020

Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies
Resident Research Fellowship 2020

Presbyterian Historical Society
Resident Research Fellowship 2014