Edmund Sears Morgan, 1916–2013; Photo: Michael Marsland/Yale University  

Edmund Sears Morgan, a Sterling Professor of American History Emeritus at Yale University, died on Monday, July 8, 2013 at the age of ninety-seven. The news brought me back to a September afternoon in 1974 when I entered upon what, in retrospect, would be the single most formative experience of my professional life. Along with eight or nine other first-year graduate students, I took my seat at the long seminar table in Mr. Morgan’s (as he then was to us) book-filled office in Yale’s Hall of Graduate Studies to begin his legendary seminar in American Colonial History. A bottle of sherry and some plastic glasses soon materialized on...

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