What's New?


please click here 

Brunel: the Man Who Changed the World!

A talk by the director of London's Brunel Museum; Robert Hulse.
Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2015 Location: Old Main Chapel Time: 7:00pm

Diggin' History Series

Julia Saintz talks on Fair Trade Coffee in Latin America

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015 Time: 7:30pm

Join us for the SU History Club meeting every Monday this Spring Semester

Location: Dauphin Humanities (DHC) 205

Time: 7:30pm 

For more information, contact History Club President: Devon Newcomer dn9056@ship.edu


spacer image

Related Links

spacer image

History/Philosophy Department

122-124 Dauphin Humanities Center
Shippensburg University
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257

Dr. Steven Burg, Chair 

Janice Reed, Secretary

Tel: 717-477-1621
Fax: 717-477-4062

spacer image

Marcus Gallo

Visiting Instructor

Wright Hall 213

Spring 2014 Office Hours: MWF 10:00 - 10:50 AM & Mondays, 3:30 - 6:00 PM


Curriculum Vitae 



Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 2012

M.A. University of California, Davis, 2006

B.A. Georgetown University, 2004



Library Resident Research Fellow, American Philosophical Society, August 2009

Library Resident Research Fellow, David Library of the American Revolution, June 2009

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellow, Library Company of Philadelphia and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, July 2008

Reed-Smith First Year Fellow, University of California, Davis, History Department, 2004-2005


Courses Taught

History 105 Historical Foundation of Global Cultures

History 106 Thinking Historically in a Global Age

History 201 Early United States History

History 385 Revolutionary America

History 413 Pennsylvania History

History 492 Selected Readings in Colonial American History


Selected Presentations

"Pennsylvania's Frontier Land Distribution Policies: A Global Perspective," Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, October 18, 2013.

"Surveyors and Land Speculation in Early Pennsylvania." Member of Roundtable: "Problems in Penn's Woods: Competition and Conflict in Pennsylvania's 18th-Century Borderlands," Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, October 14, 2011.

"The Impact of Surveyors on Post-Revolutionary Land Speculation." Member of Roundtable: "Squatters, Speculators, and States: Settling and Unsettling Developments in the Old Northwest," Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, July 17, 2011.

"Revisiting 'Fair Play': the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna, 1769-1784." Part of "Back to Penn's Woods: Revisiting Pennsylvania's 18th-Century Borderlands," Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, October, 15, 2010.

"Jurisdictional Conflicts on the Susquehanna Among Pennsylvania's Deputy Surveyors, 1764-1773." Part of "Establishing a Colony in an Uncertain Region," Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, October, 23, 2009.

"Surveyors and Informal Indian Diplomacy in Northwest Pennsylvania during the 1790s." Part of "Reconstructing Empire: Race and Power in the Post-Revolutionary Ohio Valley," Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Annual Meeting, July 19, 2009.



"'Fair Play Has Entirely Ceased, and Law Has Taken Its Place': The Rise and Fall of the Squatter Republic in the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna River, 1768-1800," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 136, no. 4 (October 2012): 405-34.

Review of John Fea, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America, in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 76, No. 2 (Spring 2009).


Current Project

My dissertation examines surveyors' impact on land speculation in the Mid-Atlantic backcountry during the eighteenth century. Because surveys transformed "wilderness" into discrete properties that settlers could buy and sell, early American governments used surveyors to regulate land distribution. Operating with little oversight, backcountry surveyors often flouted instructions intended to limit land speculation and encourage settlers to fill up the frontier evenly, without leaving gaps in undesirable areas like highlands and piney forests. Instead, they leveraged their unique knowledge of the terrain and inhabitants of the backcountry to make themselves useful to their speculator patrons. Especially after the American Revolution opened up millions of acres in the trans-Appalachian West, surveying became a way for men of middling means to enter the elite world of land dealing. Many, like George Washington and William Maclay, used backcountry surveying as a steppingstone to careers in national politics.