Thomas M. Truxes

Clinical Associate Professor of Irish Studies, History

Ph.D., 1985, Trinity College, Dublin; M.A., Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut); M.B.A., Syracuse University; B.S., Boston College

Office Address: 

Glucksman Ireland House NYU 1 Washington Mews New York, NY 10003





Personal Homepage:

Research Interests: 

Early-modern Irish history; Ireland and the Atlantic world before 1800; early-modern maritime history; the overseas trade of British America; eighteenth-century urban life, particularly New York City


Professor Tom Truxes is a specialist in the history of early-modern Ireland, pre-Revolutionary British America, and the political, economic, and social connections that bound them together. In New York University’s master of arts program in Irish and Irish-American Studies, he teaches the “History I: Elizabethan Ireland to the Act of Union,” “Ireland in the Atlantic World” seminars, and other courses dealing with early-modern Irish and Irish-American history.

“There is nothing more creative than teaching and writing history,” Professor Truxes recently told an interviewer. “Most people don’t realize that it is historians who construct our understanding of the past, an understanding based on their interpretation of evidence. By themselves, historical facts are merely random, unsorted masses of information. Making sense of them is a creative act, much like what a detective does. In Ireland, until recently, people lost their lives over conflicting interpretations of events that took place in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Getting the story of early-modern Ireland right is a serious matter and a grave responsibility for the historian. It’s also very exciting.”

Professor Truxes earned a doctorate in modern history at Trinity College, Dublin. He is the author of Irish American Trade, 1660-1783 (Cambridge University Press, 1988) and Letterbook of Greg & Cunningham, 1756-57: Merchants of New York and Belfast (Oxford University Press, 2001), the correspondence of the most successful Irish-American trading firm of the colonial period. His most recent book, Defying Empire: Trading with the Enemy in Colonial New York (Yale University Press, 2008) was a finalist for the 2009 Francis Parkman Prize presented by the Society of American Historians and was named “Best Book of 2008” by the American Revolution Round Table of New York.

Selected Works:

Letterbook of Greg & Cunningham, Merchants of New York and Belfast, 1756-57,  Volume 28 of the British Academy’s Records of Social and Economic History (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Irish-American Trade, 1660-1783 (Cambridge University Press, 1988).

“London’s Irish Merchant Community and North Atlantic Commerce in the Mid-Eighteenth Century,” in Irish and Scottish Mercantile Networks in Europe and Overseas in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, David Dickson, Jan Parmentier, and Jane Ohlmeyer, eds. (Ghent: Academia Press, 2007).

“Transnational Trade in the Wartime North Atlantic: The Voyage of the Snow Recovery,” Business History Review 79 (winter 2005).

“Waddell Cunningham (1729-97)” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004).


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Updated on 09/26/2016