Donald R. Kennon retired as chief historian and vice president of the United States Capitol Historical Society in 2015. He is coeditor of the Ohio University Press series Perspectives on the History of Congress, 1789–1801 and editor of the series Perspectives on the Art and Architectural History of the United States Capitol.


“When Lincoln took office, in March 1861, the national government had no power to touch slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln understood this, and said as much in his first inaugural address, noting: ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.’”



In the Shadow of Freedom · The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital

Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon


Congress and the Emergence of Sectionalism · From the Missouri Compromise to the Age of Jackson

Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon


Establishing Congress · The Removal to Washington, D.C., and the Election of 1800

Edited by Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon

Establishing Congress: The Removal to Washington, D.C., and the Election of 1800 focuses on the end of the 1790s, when, in rapid succession, George Washington died, the federal government moved to Washington, D.C., and the election of 1800 put Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party in charge of the federal government.


American Pantheon · Sculptural and Artistic Decoration of the United States Capitol

Edited by Donald R. Kennon and Thomas P. Somma

Like the ancient Roman Pantheon, the U.S. Capitol was designed by its political and aesthetic arbiters to memorialize the virtues, events, and persons most representative of the nation's ideals—an attempt to raise a particular version of the nation's founding to the level of myth. American Pantheon examines the influences upon not only those virtues and persons selected for inclusion in the American pantheon, but also those excluded.


The House and Senate in the 1790s · Petitioning, Lobbying, and Institutional Development

Edited by Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon

Amid the turbulent swirl of foreign intrigue, external and internal threats to the young nation’s existence, and the domestic partisan wrangling of the 1790s, the United States Congress solidified its role as the national legislature. The ten essays in The House and Senate in the 1790s demonstrate the mechanisms by which this bicameral legislature developed its institutional identity.


At the age of thirty-six, in 1852, Lt. Montgomery Cunningham Meigs of the Army Corps of Engineers reported to Washington, D.C., for duty as a special assistant to the chief army engineer, Gen. Joseph G. Totten. It was a fateful assignment, both for the nation’s capital and for the bright, ambitious, and politically connected West Point graduate. Meigs's forty-year tenure in the nation's capital was by any account spectacularly successful.


Neither Separate Nor Equal · Congress in the 1790s

Edited by Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon

Scholars today take for granted the existence of a “wall of separation” dividing the three branches of the federal government. Neither Separate nor Equal: Congress in the 1790s demonstrates that such lines of separation among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, however, were neither so clearly delineated nor observed in the first decade of the federal government's history.


The United States Capitol · Designing and Decorating a National Icon

Edited by Donald R. Kennon

The United States Capitol is a national cultural icon, and among the most visually recognized seats of government in the world. The past quarter century has witnessed an explosion of scholarly interest in the art and architectural history of the Capitol. The emergence of the historic preservation movement and the maturation of the discipline of art conservation have refocused attention on the Capitol as the American “temple of liberty.”


Inventing Congress · Origins and Establishment of the First Federal Congress

Edited by Kenneth R. Bowling and Donald R. Kennon

On March 4, 1789, New York City's church bells pealed, cannons fired, and flags snapped in the wind to celebrate the date set for the opening of the First Federal Congress. In many ways the establishment of Congress marked the culmination of the American Revolution as the ship of state was launched from the foundation of the legislative system outlined in Article I of the Constitution.


New Titles

Passionate Revolutions
The Media and the Rise and Fall of the Marcos Regime
In the last three decades, the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos has commanded the close scrutiny of scholars. These studies have focused on the political repression, human rights abuses, debt-driven growth model, and crony capitalism that defined Marcos’ so-called Democratic Revolution in the Philippines.


Slow Burn
An Andy Hayes Mystery
Almost two years have passed since Aaron Custer supposedly set a fire at a house in Columbus that killed three college students, when it starts to seem likely that the wrong man is in prison.


Capitol Punishment
An Andy Hayes Mystery
All eyes are on swing state Ohio in the midst of a presidential election, and protecting a controversial reporter seems simple enough to Andy. But then a body shows up in the Statehouse.


The Hunt
An Andy Hayes Mystery
As a serial killer stalks prostitutes in Columbus, Ohio, a distraught brother asks private investigator Andy Hayes to find his sister before it’s too late. In a deadly race against time, Andy soon learns he’s not the only person hunting Jessica Byrnes, but he may be the only one who wants her alive.


Midwestern Native Shrubs and Trees
Gardening Alternatives to Nonnative Species
In this companion volume to the bestselling The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz offer another indispensible guide to replacing nonnative plants with native alternatives.