William Fowler

Distinguished Professor of History
education Ph.D.
University of Notre Dame
Mailing address 241 ME
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

William Fowler is the author of a number of books dealing with American history including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War; Silas Talbot Captain of the Old Ironsides; co-author America and The Sea; William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty; Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution; Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783-1815; Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan; Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754-1763.

Professor Fowler has taught courses dealing with the history of Boston, maritime history, and the history of New England. He is the former Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow in American History at Mount Vernon. He has taught at Mystic Seaport Museum and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association. He is a trustee of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Association, The Paul Revere Memorial Association, The Rhode Island Historical Society, Leventhal Map Center at The Boston Public Library, and the Old North Church Foundation. He is a member of the City of Boston Archives Advisory Commission and an honorary member of the Boston Marine Society, as well as an editor of The New England Quarterly.

Selected Publications


An American Crisis: George Washington and the Dangerous Two Years After Yorktown, 1781-1783. Walker & Company, 2011.

Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754-1763. New York: Walker Books, 2005. Paperback edition 2006.

America and The Sea A Maritime History. Co-author. Mystic: Mystic Seaport, 1998

Samuel Adams Radical Puritan. New York: Longmans, 1997.

Silas Talbot: Captain of Old Ironsides. Mystic: Mystic Seaport, 1995.

Under Two Flags: The American Navy in the Civil War. New York: W.W. Norton, 1990. Paperback edition by Avon Books. Chosen as a Military History Book Club Selection.

Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy 1783-1815. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.

The Baron of Beacon Hill: A Biography of John Hancock. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Research sponsored in part by American Philosophical Society.

Rebels Under Sail: The American Navy During the Revolution. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976. Nominated for Winship Prize at Globe Book Fair. Chosen as Military History Book Club Selection. Winner of Phi Alpha Theta Prize and chosen by Choice Magazine as one of best history books for 1976. Research sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Humanities.

The American Revolution Reconsidered. edited with Wallace Coyle. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1976.

William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1973.

Articles in Scholarly Publications

“New York Trade: The Irish Trade,” Research Reports in the Social Sciences. 2(1970): pp. 23-33.

“William Ellery: An American Lord of Admiralty,” The American Neptune Magazine, 31 (1971): pp. 235-252.

“A Farce Reexamined,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 95 (1971): pp. 529-532.

“William Ellery: The Making of a Rhode Island Politician,” Rhode Island History, 30 (1971): pp. 125-135.

“A Yankee Peddler, Nonimportation and the New York Merchants,” New York Historical Society Quarterly, 56 (1972): pp. 59-63.

“A Connecticut Yankee in a Pennsylvania Court,” The Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin, 37 (1972): pp. 59-63.

“America’s Super Frigates,” Mariner’s Mirror, 15(1974): pp. 49- 56.

“The Non Volunteer Navy,” United States Naval Institute Proceedings, 100 (1974): pp. 73-78.

“James Nicholson and the Continental Frigate Virginia,” The American Neptune Magazine, 34 (1974): pp. 135-141.

“The Massachusetts Election of 1785, A Triumph of Virtue,” Collections of the Essex Institute, 117 (1975): pp. 290-304.

“John Hancock: The Paradoxical President,” New England Historic Genealogical Register, 130 (1975): pp. 164-178.

“The New York Frigates,” The American Neptune Magazine, 38 (1978): pp. 15-27.

“Remarks Upon the Views of the Livings of College Officers 1782,” History of Education Quarterly, 17 (1977): pp. 197- 201.

“Johnny Dupe versus the Patriot Scourge,” Boston Bar Journal, 22 (1978): pp. 9-15.

“Disaster in Penobscot Bay,” Naval War College Review, 31 (1979): pp. 75-80.

“The Business of War: Boston As A Navy Base, 1776-1783,” The American Neptune Magazine, 42 (1982): pp. 25-35.

“Into the Ocean World,” with Jay Kaufman in The American Neptune Magazine, 44 (1985): pp. 110-113.

“Sloop of War, Sloop of Peace: The Voyage of the USS Jamestown,” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 98 (1991): pp. 49-59.

“Relief on the River: The Red Rover,” Naval History, 5 (1991): pp. 14-19.

“The Navy’s Barbary War Crusade,” Naval History, 19, no. 4(2005), pp. 55-58.

“The Seven Years War,” The Beaver, (Publication of the Canadian History Society) forthcoming.

Selected Honors & Awards

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellow 1975

USS Constitution Museum Distinguished Service Award 1990

Northeastern University Outstanding Alumnus Award, 1994.

Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters Northeastern University, 2000

Fellows Award Mystic Seaport Library 2000

W. Erwin Story Award for Alumni Service. Northeastern University Alumni Association 2005

Honorary Member Boston Marine Society Honorary Member Society of the Cincinnati John F. Ayer Award, 2001, Bay State Historical League.

Gay Hart Gaines Distinguished Fellow Mount Vernon 2006-07

Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati George Washington Distinguished Professor