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HIST 1015 History of the United States to 1865

About the Course

This course is an introductory survey of American history through the end of the Reconstruction Era. Its companion course, History 1025-3, the History of the United States since 1865, is also offered by the University of Colorado’s Division of Continuing Education Together they satisfy part of the social science requirement of many colleges and universities, as well as the United States history requirement for history majors. The books selected for History 1015 are designed to supplement one another and should be used together. The basic text, The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, provides the factual framework of the course as well as much of its body. You should rely on this book to give you the general outline of events – what happened, when it happened, how it happened, and the way these events related to one another.

The other readings are Everyday Life in Early America, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, and Down the Santa Fe Trail into Mexico. The first is an analysis of people’s lives in the English colonies. The second is a memoir of life in slavery. And the third is a diary that offers a first-hand account of life in what was to become the American Southwest during the 1840s.


History 1015-3 consists of eight assignments. Each one asks you to write essays and identify various people and events. There are no examinations in the course.

Required Text

Paul S. Boyer, et al. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People, Vol. 1, 7 th ed. Boston, Mass.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011.

David Freeman Hawke. Everyday Life in Early America. New York: Harper, 1989.

Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988

Susan Magoffin, Down the Santa Fe Trail and Into Mexico Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982.

Instructor Contact


James E. Fell, Jr. earned his BA degree from Colby College in 1966. After working for Eastman Kodak Company in New York, he came to Colorado where he earned his MA (1972) and his PhD (1975) from the University of Colorado Boulder. After graduating from CU, he joined the faculty at the University of Arizona where he was assistant editor of Arizona and the West (now the Journal of the Southwest). Then he returned to Colorado to work as a research historian in both the state historic preservation office and the Stephen H. Hart Library at the Colorado Historical Society, and he taught at various colleges and universities in the Denver area. From 1981 to 1983 he was the Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History at Harvard University as well as managing editor of the Business History Review at the Harvard Business School. From 1983-1990, Dr. Fell worked as manager of communications for United Banks of Colorado, now part of Wells Fargo Banks. Since 1990, he has taught at the University of Colorado on both the Boulder and Denver campuses, and during the 1992-93 academic year he served as Visiting Associate Professor at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. In 2004, he received the Rodman Paul Award of the Mining History Association for distinction in that field and for service to that organization.

Dr. Fell’s publications are extensive. They include Ores to Metals: The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry, collaborator on Arthur Redman Wilfley: Miner, Inventor, and Entrepreneur, and co-author of Aurora: Gateway to the Rockies and Mining the Summit: Colorado’s Ten Mile District, 1860-1960. He also served as co-editor of the Book of Proceedings: Fifth International Mining History Congress. He has published several articles and many book reviews.

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