Boston University School of Law

Christian G. Samito


College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts
B.A. in History, magna cum laude

Harvard Law School Cambridge, Massachusetts

Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

  • Fields: American History 1776-1877, American Legal History, American Social History, Modern European History

Teaching Experience

Boston University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts

  • Lecturer in Law (Spring 2009 - present)
    • Constitutional History: The Founding Years
    • Constitutional History: The Civil War and Reconstruction
    • American Constitutional History

Boston College, History Department, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

  • Lecturer (2006), Adjunct Visiting Professor (2008-2009), Visiting Assistant Professor (2009-2011), representative courses include:
    • U.S. Constitutional History I
    • Topics in American Legal and Constitutional History, 1787-1905
    • The American Civil War and Reconstruction
    • Europe and the Modern World I and II
    • United States History I

Legal Experience

Dr. Samito has significant litigation experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation matters, including business litigation, breach of warranty/breach of contract claims, probate and fiduciary litigation, trade secrets, and tort matters, as well as extensive appellate experience on the state and federal level including briefing and conducting oral argument in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and drafting petitions for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Samito also does pro bono work on behalf of animals.

Major Publications


Lincoln and the Thirteenth Amendment (Southern Illinois University Press, September 2015).

Becoming American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship during the Civil War Era (Cornell University Press, 2009). Access a chapter on African American soldiers and military justice here.

Changes in Law and Society during the Civil War and Reconstruction: A Legal History Documentary Reader (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009).    

Fear Was Not In Him: The Civil War Letters of Major General Francis C. Barlow, U.S.A. (Fordham University Press, 2004).

Commanding Boston's Irish Ninth: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Patrick R. Guiney Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Fordham University Press, 1998).

Editor, Daniel G. Macnamara's History of the Ninth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (Fordham University Press, 2000).

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters

“Thomas F. Meagher, Patrick R. Guiney and the Meaning of the Civil War for Irish America: the Questions of Nationalism, Citizenship, and Human Rights,” in Lorien Foote and Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, eds. So Conceived and So Dedicated: Intellectual Life in the Civil War Era North (Fordham University Press, 2015).

“A Story of Military Justice and Civil Rights,” The Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2014.

“How A Supreme Court Precedent From 1837 Supports Uber's Fight Against Taxi Monopolies,”, September 18, 2014.

“Constitution and Law,” in Aaron Sheehan-Dean, ed., A Companion to the U.S. Civil War (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2014). Access this chapter here.

"The Intersection between Military Justice and Equal Rights: Mutinies, Courts-Martial, and Black Civil War Soldiers," in Civil War History (June 2007): 170-202.

"'Patriot by Nature, Christian by Faith': Major General William Dorsey Pender, C. S. A.," in The North Carolina Historical Review (April 1999): 163-201.

Selected Conferences and Appearances

Some of Dr. Samito’s selected speaking engagements include:

  • A Massachusetts Bar Association program concerning obtaining lost profits damages for startup businesses in intellectual property litigation
  • “The Era of the War of 1812 and the Making of Modern America,” Massachusetts Historical Society in partnership with the USS Constitution Museum
  • “The Complexity of Kentucky and the Complexities of Citizenship during the Age of Emancipation,” University of Louisville
  • Keynote Speaker, Civil War Trust Teacher Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (televised on C-SPAN)
    Boston Public Library (separate talks about citizenship during the Civil War era and Boston’s Irish Americans during the Civil War era)
  • The Franklin N. Flaschner Judicial Institute (Bench/Bar Reading Discussion Series event with judges from the Massachusetts Trial Court and Massachusetts Appeals Court)
  • Various continuing education programs for secondary school social studies teachers administered by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Suffolk University, and University of Massachusetts-Boston

Selected Organizations and Service

  • Fellow, Massachusetts Historical Society, May 2008–present
  • Member, Board of Overseers, USS Constitution Museum, July 2007–present