Faculty Profiles

Beth Salerno

Associate Professor
U.S. History (colonial, antebellum, antislavery, and women)

Office: 308 Joseph House
Office Phone Number: (603) 641-7049
Email Address: bsalerno@anselm.edu

Research Interests

My research interests center on the antebellum period of U.S. history (1820-1850). My first book looks at how women from Maine to Pennsylvania and west out to Michigan formed organizations to abolish southern slavery. I am interested in how these groups formed, the activities they engaged in, and how the women overcame violence, verbal critiques and their own internal disagreements in order to succeed. More specifically, I explore the networking and mentoring relationships women created, and the gendered understandings of citizenship with which they justified their work.

I am now examining the life and writings of Concord, NH native Mary Clark, the Corresponding Secretary of the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society. Mary Clark kept up an extensive correspondence with many prominent abolitionists in Boston and was recognized by her contemporaries as one of the most valuable female antislavery activists in New England. She was also the assistant to the NH State Archivist and wrote history textbooks for Massachusetts and New Hampshire schools. An active reader, but limited in travel due to a nervous condition, Clark wrote dozens of letters to friends and acquaintances, providing humorous, thoughtful and perceptive windows into life in the early republic. I am currently writing an article on New Hampshire women's antislavery activism, in which Clark was a pivotal figure. Other articles featuring Clark will include one on women's reading, one on disability in the early republic, and one on the memory and legacy of the American Revolution as expressed in Clark's textbooks. I hope these articles will form the basis of a scholarly biography of Clark.

My two research projects are linked by a fascination with people who choose to make change in the world, who are able to organize others, and who write perceptively and regularly about the challenges of those tasks.

Current Works in Progress

Biography of New Hampshire abolitionist and writer Mary Clark.

Selected Publications

“The Age of Association: Temperance, Anti-Slavery and Women’s Rights in Jacksonian America,” in Jacksonian America (Interpreting American History series), ed. Brian S. Knight and James S. Humphreys (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, accepted and forthcoming 2011).

"How did local antislavery women form national networks in the antebellum United States?" Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 11 (September 2007). (Refereed scholarly journal and database of edited primary source document projects.)

Sister Societies: Women's Antislavery Organizations in Antebellum America (Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2005).

"Who Has the Time?! The Impact of Changes in Higher Education on the Practice of Radical Mentoring," Teaching Radical History, Radical History Review 72 (Fall 1998):6-11.

Other Activities

Fulbright Scholar at Pyeongtaek University in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, 2007-2008.

Board of Directors, New Hampshire Humanities Council

Secondary Education, Teacher Training Workshops: Beth has given presentations on antislavery women at Teacher Training Workshops for Boston and Newton, MA teachers. She has also spoken on women's suffrage for New Hampshire teachers. She is the department liaison to the Education Program on Campus.


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Minnestoa, 2000
Master of Arts, University of Minnesota, 1994
Bachelor of Arts, Haverford College, 1991

Courses Taught

History 100 (Hi0B): Introduction to History: American Revolution
History 250 (Hi41): U.S. History to 1877
History 251 (Hi42): U.S. History since 1877
History 350 (Hi43): Colonial North America
Hi44: The Early Republic, 1763-1824
History 351 (Hi45): Jacksonian America, 1824-1850
History 358 (Hi54): History of New England

History 359 (Hi55): American Women's History
History 399 (Hi74): Comparative Women's History
History 383 (Hi77): Applied (Public) History
History 481 (Hi81): Research Seminar
History 489 (Hi89): Directed Reading Seminar: History of American Citizenship
Humanities 101, 102, 201, 202 (Hu01, Hu02, Hu03, and Hu04) Portraits of Human Greatness

Saint Anselm College, a Benedictine, Catholic, Liberal Arts College
100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, New Hampshire 03102

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Copyrighted by the History Department, Saint Anselm College, 2006.