Peter C. Baldwin

Prof. Peter Baldwin of the UConn History Dept
photo by Mark Mirko

Ph.D., Brown

Hours, Spring 2022: by appointment
Office: Wood Hall, Rm 235
Phone: (860) 486-3854
Fax: (860) 486-0641


Areas of Specialty

American Urban History, American Social History


Current Research Interests

Children’s mobility in American cities



Peter Cunningham Baldwin was born in New York City and grew up in Ithaca, New York. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1984. For the next seven years, he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Hartford Courant. He received his M.A. in history from Brown University in 1992 and his Ph.D. in history from Brown in 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he served as an assistant professor of history at DePaul University in Chicago. He came to the University of Connecticut in 2001.

Prof. Baldwin teaches classes in the History of Urban America, the History of Childhood in America, and America Since 1877. His third book, Angel on a Freight Train: A Story of Faith and Queer Desire in Nineteenth Century America, was published in 2020 by the State University of New York Press. Based on the diaries of a Massachusetts educator, it considers how one man’s religious experience and sexuality were influenced by the emotional culture of his time.  He is currently studying the curtailment of children’s mobility and “right to the city” in twentieth-century America.


Selected Publications

“Dangers that Lurk in a Kiss: Quarantining the American Mouth, 1890–1920” Journal of Social History 55, no. 3 (Spring 2022): Pages 647–667

“Riding to Learn, Learning to Ride:  Early School-busing in Connecticut, 1900–1945” Connecticut History Review 60, no. 2 (Fall 2021): 28-52.

Angel on a Freight Train: A Story of Faith and Queer Desire in Nineteenth Century America (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2020).

“Sports, Recreation, and Leisure: Nightlife in the City ,” American History: Oxford Research Encyclopedia, March 2015 <>

“Public Privacy: Restrooms in American Cities, 1869–1932,” Journal of Social History 48, no. 2 (winter, 2014): 264-288.

Howard P. Chudacoff, Judith E. Smith and Peter C. Baldwin, The Evolution of American Urban Society, 8th ed. (Boston: Pearson, 2014)

In the Watches of the Night: Life in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930 (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Howard P. Chudacoff, Judith E. Smith and Peter C. Baldwin, The Evolution of American Urban Society, 7th ed. (Boston: Prentice Hall, 2010)

Mapping Time: Night and Day in the Nineteenth-Century City” Common-Place, vol. 6, no. 1 (October, 2005) Winner of Common-Place’s 2007 “Uncommon Voice Prize”

Howard P. Chudacoff and Peter C. Baldwin, eds., Major Problems in American Urban and Suburban History (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2005)

“In the Heart of Darkness: Blackouts and the Social Geography of Lighting in the Gaslight Era,” Journal of Urban History 30, no. 5 (July 2004): 749-768.

“How Night Air Became Good Air, 1776–1930,” Environmental History 8, no. 3 (July 2003): 412-429.

“Nocturnal Habits and Dark Wisdom: The American Response to Children in the Streets at Night, 1870-1920,” Journal of Social History 35, no. 3 (Spring 2002): 593-611.

Domesticating the Street: The Reform of Public Space in Hartford, 1850-1930. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1999. Winner, Urban History Association’s 2000 prize for “Best Book in North American Urban History.”