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Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, NC, US

Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences | UNC-Chapel Hill


Kathleen DuVal’s research focuses on early America, particularly cross-cultural relations on North American borderlands.



Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication Kathleen DuVal, Ph.D. Publication



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Kathleen DuVal -- Kathleen DuVal: Visions of Postwar America 037 Kathleen DuVal: Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution




Kathleen DuVal, a professor of history and adjunct professor of American Studies in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, researches and writes about how various American Indian, European, and African men and women interacted from the sixteenth through early nineteenth centuries. Her book, "Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution," offers a significant new global perspective on the Revolutionary War with the story of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the outsiders of colonial society. The book is winner of the Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award and the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey History Prize and a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Areas of Expertise (5)

American History

Cross Cultural Relations in American History

Native North America

American Women's History

Colonial America

Accomplishments (4)

John Simon Guggenheim Fellow (professional)


UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities Fellow (professional)


Elected Fellow, American Antiquarian Society (professional)


National Humanities Center Fellow (professional)


Education (2)

University of California, Davis: Ph.D., History 2001

Stanford University: B.A., History 1992

Media Appearances (12)

The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, 2018

History Channel  tv

“The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen” spans a formative period of history featuring the first 75 volatile years of the United States – from the Revolution through the California Gold Rush – where Daniel Boone, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, John Frémont, Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson set forth across uncharted land with determination and self-reliance.

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‘1619’ and ‘Marooned’ Review: Filling in Early America’s Blanks

The Wall Street Journal  print


Jamestown’s early leaders promoted tolerance and equality. Should it replace Plymouth Rock in our founding myths?

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‘Unlikely General’ Review: He Opened the Way West

The Wall Street Journal  print


‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne taught his men to steel themselves against surprise attack by makingthem ‘as afraid of him as they were of the Indians.’

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Book Review, "Swept Away by the 'Revolution'"

The Wall Street Journal  print


The story of the American Revolution as told through the lives of six people.

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Book Review, "The Birth of American Nationalism"

The Wall Street Journal  print


The new Bill of Rights led those who feared centralized power to support the Constitution just as fervently as Federalists once had. Kathleen DuVal reviews “A Sovereign People” by Carol Berkin.

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Book Review, "When America Opened Its Doors"

The Wall Street Journal  print


For the founders, refugees were ideal citizens: They’d fled tyranny and would be a bulwark against it. Kathleen DuVal reviews “American Sanctuary: Mutiny, Martyrdom, and National Identity in the Age of Revolution” by A. Roger Ekirch.

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Book Review, "Reframing the American Revolution"

The Wall Street Journal  print


Two new books—“Of Arms and Artists” by Paul Staiti and “A Revolution in Color” by Jane Kamensky—show how our vision of the revolutionary era was shaped by the artists who lived through it.

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Book Review, "Commerce and Common Sense"

The Wall Street Journal  print


By Kathleen DuVal

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Book Review, "When Wall Street Was a Wall"

The Wall Street Journal  print


By Kathleen DuVal

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Voices On The Edge Of The American Revolution

WUNC 91.5  online


Kathleen DuVal, professor of American history at UNC-Chapel Hill, penned “Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution” (Random House/2015) to shed light on the stories of eight little-known revolutionary figures...

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Book review: ‘Independence Lost’ travels beyond the 13 Colonies

The Charlotte Observer  online


The popular mythology of the American Revolution is of wise founding fathers leading the 13 Colonies to freedom from British oppression. University of North Carolina historian Kathleen DuVal presents a different version of the events, showing how the revolution impacted a wide variety of people on the fringes of the conflict...

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We Have a President for a Reason

The New York Times  online


The letter that 47 Senate Republicans addressed to Iranian leaders this week, warning them about making a nuclear deal with President Obama, came as a surprise to many Americans. But it would not have surprised our earliest forefathers. After all, it was not uncommon, in the years immediately following the American Revolution, for individual Americans to negotiate directly with representatives of foreign governments...

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Event Appearances (3)

“The Education of Bernardo de Gálvez"

New York University Atlantic Workshop  New York City, March 2016

“Independence Lost"

Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture, C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience,  Chestertown, Maryland, November 2015

"Colonial-Era Native Grounds,” On Native Grounds: Ethnohistorical Studies on Native American Histories and the Land

NEH seminar for college and university faculty,  Washington, D.C., June 2015

Articles (6)

Are Sauvages Savages, Wild People, or Indians in a Colonial Ame rican Reader?"

Translation Review 79

Winter 2010 Co-authored with John DuVal

Indian Intermarriage and Métissage in Colonial Louisiana

The William and Mary Quarterly

2008 Records reveal little else about this woman. Her Quapaw parents must have lived in one of their nation's towns along the Arkansas River, just west of the Mississippi. Bythe time of Marie Louise's birth, the Quapaw had suffered devastating population losses due to ...

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Cross-Cultural Crime and Osage Justice in the Western Mississippi Valley, 1700-1826


2007 ABSTRACT: This article explores ideas of justice and punishment held by various Indians and Europeans, ending with the trial of several Osage men accused by the United States of the kind of killing that the Osage had done for a century in protection of their trade and land ...

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"A Good Relationship, & Commerce": The Native Political Economy of the Arkansas River Valley

Early American Studies

2003 Although Indians soliciting European trade sounds like a colonialist fantasy, these seventeenth-century Indians believed that the French could serve their interests. We know now that Europeans, with their diseases, liquor, trade sys tems, and shady land deals, ...

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Choosing Enemies: The Prospects for an Anti-American Alliance in the Louisiana Territory

The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

2003 After 1800, the fortunes of both Spaniards and Native Americans in the North American West changed dramatically. Spain evacuated the vast Louisiana Territory in 1803 and surrendered the Southwest upon Mexican independence. The United States had acquired ...

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The Education of Fernando de Leyba: Quapaws and Spaniards on the Border of Empires

The Arkansas Historical Quarterly

2001 In 1771, a young Spanish officer, Fernando de Leyba, traveled from New Orleans to his new post on the Arkansas River. Spain had acquired the vast Louisiana region from France in 1763, and Commandant Leyba's superiors expected him to institute Spanish control over ...

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