Dr. Andrew Fagal ’07 visited Professor DC Jackson’s seminar on the history of American technology (HIST 365) on March 4, 2020 to discuss the early history of industry in the United States and analyze connections between the federal government and private enterprise. The seminar focused on Fagal’s recently published article, “The Mills of Liberty: Foreign Capital, Government Contracts, and the Establishment of DuPont, 1790–1820,” (in the journal Enterprise and Society) which explores how the DuPont family transferred the technology of gunpowder manufacture from France to the United States. In particular, students questioned Dr. Fagal about the political relationship between the DuPont Company and President Jefferson and contrasted this history with the political environment that enveloped the origins and development of the Harpers Ferry Armory (which had been the seminar’s focus the week before). In addition, Dr. Fagal shared his knowledge of online primary sources to help assist students as they work on their seminar research papers.
Andrew Fagal earned his doctorate in U.S. history at the State University of New York (Binghamton) after graduating from Lafayette with a double major in history and economics. Dr. Fagal is currently at Princeton University, serving as assistant editor of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, where he annotates, contextualizes, and contributes to translations of letters to and from the author of the Declaration of Independence. Papers of Thomas Jefferson began publication in 1950; it is internationally recognized as the authoritative edition of historical correspondence involving the third President of the United States.