Kentucky Early American Seminar

The Kentucky Early American Seminar is a group of historians from various universities in Kentucky and Indiana who meet informally during Spring and Fall semesters to discuss pre-circulated papers on any topic concerning the colonial through the early national period in North America.


All meetings are held at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, Ky., on Fridays, 5 - 6.30pm.  See here fore a map of the campus and driving directions from the west (Louisville) and east (Lexington). Following the discussions, participants usually gather for a social hour/dinner at a local restaurant. Papers are made available for download on this website two weeks in advance (click on the paper title below). Do not cite without the author's permission.

Next Meeting: February 27, 2015!

Perpetrators and Victims:  Women's Experiences of Violence in the Northeast, 1780-1820

Dr. Kelly Ryan, Indiana University Southeast

Women were active participants in the culture of violence in the northeastern United States, particularly in urban centers. Women exacted their rage on husbands, neighbors and friends, and used their fists, knives, and voices to establish their authority. Women also resisted violence by seeking the mediation of the criminal justice system and turning to their friends and family for support.Through an examination of print literature and legal records in rural and urban New York and Massachusetts, this paper reveals the gendered experiences of women in the criminal justice system, their violent activities, and society’s perception of women’s violence.In resisting and perpetrating violence, women assertively staked out and defended their place in the early republic often simultaneously acting as the agents of patriarchy while undermining it.

Please contact Kelly Ryan via email to receive the paper for this seminar!



Dr. Brad Wood (Eastern Kentucky University)

Dr. Kelly Ryan (Indiana University Southeast)

Tony P. Curtis (Kentucky Historical Society)

Dr. Daniel Krebs (University of Louisville)

Dr. Glenn Crothers (University of Louisville)


Next Meetings and Papers

To submit a paper for discussion, please contact Brad Wood or Kelly Ryan. Papers should not exceed fifty pages, including notes, and should include a brief abstract.


Past Papers

January 23, 2015: Dr. Daniel Krebs, University of Louisville: "Warfare on Distant Shores: Recruitment and Social Composition of the "Hessians" During the American War of Independence"

December 5, 2014: Dr. Brad Wood, Eastern Kentucky University: "The Albemarle Settlements and the Challenge of Isolation (c. 1660-1700)"

November 14, 2014: Jeffery Lewis Stanley, University of Kentucky: “The Language of Race in Old Regime France and Saint-Domingue”

March 29, 2013: Dr. Jacob Lee, Indiana University: In Cahokia's Wake: Middle America from Mississipians to Marquette and Jolliet

February 22, 2013: Dr. Brad Wood, Eastern Kentucky University: Colonial North Carolina and the Limits of the Atlantic World

February 8, 2013: Dr. Kelly Ryan, University of Indiana - Southeast: Mediating Spousal Abuse in New England, 1760 - 1830

October 19, 2012: Dr. Kristalyn M. Shefveland, University of Southern Indiana: Reversing Their Removal from the Narrative: Native Labor in Virginia

April 20, 2012: Dr. Jane Calvert, University of Kentucky: Thomas Paine, Quakerism, and the Limits of Religious Liberty During the American Revolution

March 30, 2012: Dr. Kris Ray, Austin Peay State University and Senior Editor, Tennessee Historical Quarterly: Cherokees and Franco-British Confrontation in the Tennessee Corridor, 1748-1758

February 21, 2012: Dr. Brad Wood, Eastern Kentucky University: Creating and Contesting Carolina

October 14, 2011: Samantha M. Steele, University of Kentucky: The Captivity of Hannah Duston - Using Literature to Map the Changing Perceptions of Native Americans in New England Society

April 8, 2011: Dr. Brad Wood, Eastern Kentucky University: Thomas Pollock and the Making of an Albemarle Plantation World

March 11, 2011: Dr. Christopher Magra, University of Tennessee: Anti-Impressment Riots and the "Radicalism" of the American Revolution

February 4, 2011: Dr. Daniel Krebs, University of Louisville: Useful Enemies - German Prisoners of War During the American Revolution

September 9, 2011: Dr. Kristopher Ray, Austin Peay State University and Senior Editor, Tennessee Historical Quarterly: Cherokee-British Alliance along the Tennessee River, 1650-1750

November 4, 2011: Dr. Kristalyn M. Sheveland, University of Southern Indiana: "Wholy Subjected?" Anglo-Indian Interaction in Colonial Virginia, 1646-1718

November 14, 2014: Jeffery Lewis Stanley, University of Kentucky: The Language of Race in Old Regime France and Saint-Domingue