John Saillant

John Saillant

John Saillant

Dr. John Saillant
Ph.D in American Civilization, Brown University (1989)

(269) 387-2621

918 Sprau

Mailing Address
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334



I teach courses at WMU in the Departments of English, History, and Comparative Religion. These deal with African American literature, early American Literature, colonial American history, the American Revolution and the Constitution, and the story of American religion. In 2007 I am teaching a graduate seminar in commemoration of the bicentennial of the interdiction of the British slave trade.


My research concerns the intersection of political ideology, religion, and abolitionism from the middle of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Additionally, I have edited for publication several documents of this time period and have been working with Roy E. Finkenbine (University of Detroit Mercy) on collecting, editing, and publishing black antislavery writings of the years 1760 to 1829.

Representative Publications

Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). 

Face Zion Forward: First Writers of the Black Atlantic, 1785-1798, co-edited, with an introduction, by Joanna Brooks and John Saillant (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2002). 

Migration in Modern World History, 1500-2000, with Patrick Manning et al (Belmont, California: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2000). 

"Missions in Liberia and Race Relations in the U.S.A., 1822-1860," The Foreign Missionary Enterprise at Home: Explorations in North American Cultural History, editors, Daniel H. Bays and Grant Wacker (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2003). 

"Origins of African American Hermeneutics in the Eighteenth-Century Opposition to the Slave Trade and Slavery," African Americans and the Bible: Sacred Texts and Social Textures, editor, Vincent L. Wimbush (New York: Continuum, 2000). 

"Antiguan Methodism and Antislavery Activity: Anne and Elizabeth Hart in the Black Atlantic," Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture (Volume 69, Number 1: March, 2000). 

"Traveling in Old and New Worlds with John Jea, the African Preacher, 1773-1816," Journal of American Studies (Volume 33, Number 3: 1999): 473-490. 

"'Wipe away All Tears from Their Eyes': John Marrant's Theology in the Black Atlantic, 1785-1808," The Journal of Millennial Studies (Volume 1, Number 2: Winter, 1999). 

"'Circular addressed to the Colored Brethren and friends': An Unpublished Essay by Lott Cary, Sent from Liberia to Virginia, 1827" (with an introduction and epilogue), Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Volume 104, Number 4: Autumn, 1996). 

"'The Remarkable Visionary Dreams of Frederic Swan': An Early African American Woman's Narrative Text, 1822," The North Star: A Journal of African-American Religious History (Volume 1, Number 2: Spring, 1998).

"'Some Thoughts on the Subject of Freeing the Negro Slaves in the Colony of Connecticut, humbly offered to the Consideration of all friends to liberty & justice,' by Levi Hart, with a Response from Samuel Hopkins," The New England Quarterly (Volume 75, Number 1: March, 2002).



Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax