Session 1: July 16-22, 2017

Session 2: July 23-29, 2017

Director: Jose R. Torre, Associate Professor of History
The College at Brockport, State University of New York

Greetings from Rochester, New York! The Rochester Reform Trail is a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for School Teachers. In the summer of 2017 this NEH Landmarks Workshop will bring together school teachers, public historians, and scholarly experts for two week long programs focusing on Rochester's iconic 19th century technological, economic and reform landmarks.

Image of African Church in Rochester In the early nineteenth century Rochester was at the center of a national effort to reform American society. National figures like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Charles G. Finney made Rochester their home and turned the frontier boomtown into an epicenter for progressive thought and action. Working alongside nearby leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls, they led the nation in the battle against long-entrenched notions of racial and gender inferiority. More than 150 years later Rochester's landscape is still marked by their efforts.

Through field trips, scholarly presentations and seminar-style discussions, NEH Summer Scholars will examine the complex history of reform as expressed in landmarks such as the Broad Street Aqueduct, the Erie Canal, Mount Hope Cemetery, the Susan B. Anthony House, the nearby Seneca Falls Women's Rights National Historical Park and others. Teachers will visit these sites while studying the writings of the men and women who made Rochester a center for reform culture in antebellum America.

By combining site visits with scholarly sessions on Rochester reformers, the workshop hopes to illuminate several broader themes: the economic and technological changes that shaped the mindset, worldviews and everyday experiences of 19th century American reformers; the role that religion played in expanding reform movements; and the impact of African Americans and women on reform culture and American society both before and after the Civil War.

Rochester has an unrivaled collection of 19th century technological and reform landmarks; this workshop hopes to highlight their importance to American society as a whole. Hope you will join us!

Please e-mail me at for more information.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program and website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.