Open Access Textbooks

West Virginia History: An Open Access Reader

Reader Synopsis:

Kevin Barksdale (Marshall University) and Ken Fones-Wolf (West Virginia University) assembled this collection of essays, mostly from the journal they edit, West Virginia History, to serve as a reader for courses on the Mountain State’s history. In selecting essays, they emphasized pieces that addressed themes from differing perspectives. For example, the first two essays examine the eighteenth-century frontier and Indian-white relations, one from the perspective of Europeans seeking to destroy Native Americans and the other from the vantage of the Cherokee hoping for some security. Among the other topics highlighted in these essays are: the coming of the Civil War, the efforts of women and blacks to negotiate citizenship during Reconstruction, the struggles of immigrants and African Americans during industrialization, the impact of the Cold War, and episodes that might be grouped as part of the culture wars. As such, they offer multiple opportunities for students to compare and contrast the experiences of varying groups of West Virginians throughout the state’s history.

Table of Contents

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author Biographies
(organized by TOC order)

B. Scott Crawford
Virginia Western Community College
B. Scott Crawford currently serves as the Director of Professional Development and Training at Member One Federal Credit Union and an adjunct history instructor at Virginia Western Community College. He earned his M.A. in history from Old Dominion University and has experience as a high school history teacher, director of education, K-12 social studies coordinator, and senior staff member at an art museum. He has also worked as an adjunct instructor at both Radford University and Virginia Tech.

Douglas McClure Wood
West Virginia University Douglas McClure Wood earned a B.S. in wildlife management from West Virginia University and worked for thirty-three years as a Department of Environmental Protection researcher specializing in headwater stream ecology. His research interests spanned over the central Appalachian, ridge and valley, and Western Allegheny Plateau regions.

Matthew L. Rhoades
Southern Connecticut State University
Matthew L. Rhoades accumulated a B.A. and M.A. in history from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in history from Syracuse University. He currently works as a visiting assistant professor at Southern Connecticut State University, and in the past, he has served as an adjunct instructor and historian at the University of Houston-Victoria and an assistant professor of history at West Texas A&M University and West Virginia University. His areas of specialization include colonial and Native American history.

Ken Fones-Wolf
West Virginia University
Ken Fones-Wolf currently serves as a professor of history at West Virginia University. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from University of Maryland and a Ph.D. from Temple University. His scholarly interests include social and labor history, particularly the relationship between religious beliefs and the working class, and he is the author of numerous articles on labor history.

Scott A. MacKenzie
Auburn University
Scott A. MacKenzie accumulated a B.A. in history from the University of Manitoba, an M.A. in history from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. in history from Auburn University, specializing in United States history with an emphasis in the Civil War Era. His research and teaching interests include Civil War, Appalachia, military, and public history. He currently works as a historian in Winnipeg, Canada.

William A. Link
University of Florida
William A. Link, with both a Ph.D. and M.A. in history from the University of Virginia, currently works as a professor of history at the University of Florida, where he teaches courses specializing in southern history, supervises a number of graduate students, and serves as the Richard J. Milbauer chair in history. Before moving to the University of Florida, he worked as a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, specializing on courses in the history of North Carolina, the American South, and the twentieth century. His academic interests include history of the progressive era, American South, education, slavery, Civil War origins, and modern conservativism.

Allison Fredette
University of Florida
Allison Fredette earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Florida and an M.A. and B.A. in history from West Virginia University. Her research interests include history of marriage and the family, women's and gender history, Southern history, and history of the nineteenth century. In May 2014, she completed her dissertation, which focused on women and the law during the Civil War.

Cicero Fain
College of Southern Maryland
Cicero Fain currently serves as an assistant professor of history at the College of Southern Maryland. He received a Ph.D. in history from Ohio State University and has published several articles on the experiences of African Americans in Virginia and West Virginia.

Kenneth R. Bailey
West Virginia University Institute of Technology
Kenneth R. Bailey, emeritus dean of the College of Business, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, received a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He has published numerous articles on the history of West Virginia.

Timothy Konhaus
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
Timothy Konhaus currently works as an assistant professor of social sciences at Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, where he also serves as a faculty coordinator for the colleges accelerated college education program. He received a Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University, and his previous positions include employment as a professor at Tidewater Community College, California University of Pennsylvania, and West Virginia Universiy.

Joseph Super
West Virginia University
Joseph Super serves as an adjunct instructor in history at West Virginia University.

William Hal Gorby
West Virginia University
William Hal Gorby received a Ph.D. and M.A. in American history from West Virginia University, where he currently serves as an assistant professor of history. His research interests include ethnicity, religion, and the working class during the twentieth century, particularly in South Wheeling.

Pamela Edwards
Shepherd University
Pamela Edwards, currently serving as an adjunct professor in history and English at Shepherd University, received a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware's Hagley Program. Her areas of scholarly interest include the history and studies of the environment, the Atlantic, world history, women and gender, and African Americans.

James "Jay" H. Smith
West Virginia University
Jay H. Smith, a Ph.D. student and instructor in the history department at West Virginia University, specializes in recent American history and foreign relations. Additionally, his research interests include public history, world history, and the culture surrounding the nation's foreign policy.

Sam F. Stack
West Virginia University
Sam F. Stack received a Ph.D. in social foundations of education and an M.Ed. in secondary education from the University of South Carolina. He currently serves as a professor and the associate chair of the department of curriculum and instruction at West Virginia University, where his research interests include the history, philosophy, and sociology of American education as well as John Dewey studies.

Carol Mason
University of Kentucky
Carol Mason serves as a professor and the chair of gender and women's studies at the University of Kentucky, where she also is part of the affiliate faculty of American and Appalachian studies. She received a Ph.D. in English language and literatures from the University of Minnesota, and her research interests include twentieth century American literature, theories of gender and sexuality, critical studies of whiteness, and race. She is known for her research on the rise of the right since the 1960s, serves on the board of directors of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and is a member of the editorial board of American Studies, a University of Kentucky publication.

Jinny A. Thurman-Deal
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Jinny A. Thurman-Deal received a Ph.D. in history from West Virginia University and an M.A. in Appalachian studies from Appalachian State University. She currently serves as an assistant professor of history at the University of Kentucky, where she specializes in oral history and local historical research and teaches courses that focus on historic interpretation, historic preservation, museums, archives, and community history. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she is a member of the board of directors for the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office and historic preservation committees.

Shirley Stewart Burns
West Virginia University
Shirley Stewart Burns received a Ph.D. in history with an Appalachian focus, an M.A. in social work, and a B.S. in news editorial journalism from West Virginia University. Her research interests include the community, environment, and history of the southern West Virginia coal industry. She is the author of Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop Removal on Southern West Virginia Communities and the editor of Coal Country.

David Corbin
David A. Corbin served as a Senate staffer for twenty-six years—six years on the leadership staff of Senate majority leader Byrd and ten years on the leadership staffs of Senate majority leaders George Mitchell and Tom Daschle. He also served as Senator Byrd’s speechwriter for the last ten years of Byrd’s career. Corbin is the editor of The West Virginia Mine Wars: An Anthology and the author of Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields: The Southern West Virginia Miners, 1880–1920. He received his PhD in history from the University of Maryland and lives in Annapolis.

About Open Access Textbooks

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Editorial Team

  • Cheryl Ball
  • Michael Bond
  • Tim Broadwater
  • Lisette Hernandez
  • Derek Krissoff
  • Cindy Libertore
  • Monte Maxwell
  • Than Saffel


  • Digital Publishing Institute
  • West Virginia University Libraries
  • West Virginia University Press