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Dr. Troy Kickler


Troy Kickler is the Founding Director of the North Carolina History Project and Editor of

He holds an M.S. in Social Studies Education from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee. His dissertation was “Black Children and Northern Missionaries, Southern Conservatives, Freedmen’s Bureau Agents, and Freedmen in Reconstruction Tennessee.” He has taught at the University of Tennessee, Barton College, and North Carolina State University.

Kickler is co-editor of an upcoming anthology project tentatively titled North Carolina Founders: A Reexamination. He is also currently editor of Nathaniel Macon: Selected Congressional Speeches and Correspondence.

Kickler’s recent publications include “Caught in the Crossfire: African American Children and the Ideological Battle for Education in Reconstruction Tennessee” (Children and Youth During the Civil War Era, New York University Press, 2012, James Marten, ed.) and “Why The Constitution is Essential” as part of State Policy Network’s We The People series.

He has been invited and has written various forwards and introductions to scholarly works. Such publications include Riot and Resistance in County Norfolk, 1646-1650: The Road to Rebellion in Seventeenth-Century Britain; The Impact of the English Colonization of Ireland in the Sixteenth Century: A “Very Troublesome People”; and the upcoming The Federalist Papers: A Reader’s Guide.

He has written articles and reviews for such publications as American Diplomacy, Chronicles, Constituting America, H-Civil War, Imaginative Conservative, Journal of Mississippi History, Tennessee Baptist History, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Tenth Amendment Center, and The Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians. He has also contributed to Exploring American History: From Colonial Times to 1877; Encyclopedia of American Environmental History; and The Old West: Yesterday and Today. He has served as editorial assistant for the Journal of East Tennessee History and has a monthly column for Carolina Journal.

Kickler has presented at numerous academic conferences and venues including the American Political Science Association and the First Principles Program of Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In addition, he has presented dozens of lectures to civic groups across North Carolina exploring, respectively, the history of North Carolina and the United States and the North Carolina Constitution and United States Constitution.

His commentaries have appeared in major North Carolina newspaper outlets, and he has been interviewed for several North Carolina talk-radio stations and news programs. He also has blogged for History News Network.

Directing several educational programs, Kickler is co-creator of the popular Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop and e-newsletter American Founding Era News. He has also directed the John Locke Foundation’s State of Our Constitution symposia series, a program created to foster state constitutional literacy. He currently directs North Carolina History Project’s Living History Event series and NCHP’s Lecture Series.

He serves on the Scholarly Advisory Board of The Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection, a collaborative project of Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. He also serves on the College Level Advisory Board of Constituting America, an online essay series exploring the U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and the Founding Era.

Kickler is on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund.

Articles by Dr. Troy Kickler

(12.16.14) When Politics Turned Physical
An influential early 19th-century N.C. congressman was bloodied during a “fracas” following a heated debate with a colleague.

(11.06.14) Ebola Outbreak Revives Memories of 1918
Few remember the flu pandemic that wiped out 20 million to 40 million people more than 95 years ago.

(5.23.14) New Book Warns of Return to ‘Crown Government’
George Mason law professor F.H. Buckley decries the growth of presidential power in the American constitutional system.

(1.28.14) N.C.’s Johnston Played Important Role in Founding
His work influenced politics and law in the years leading up to and following the Revolutionary War.

(1.23.14) Little-Known Johnston Had Illustrious Political and Legal Career
Samuel Johnston played in influential role in state government after independence, and argued a case in state court that became a precedent for the landmark federal Marbury v. Madison decision allowing courts to overturn legislatures.

(12.17.13) Freedmen’s Bank Helped Fuel Hopes For Free-Labor Economy
The institution served recently freed slaves for nearly a decade after the Civil War.

(10.22.13) Tar Heels Played Key Roles At Constitutional Convention
Two of the colony’s three delegates had a major influence on the founding document.

(10.18.13) N.C. Delegates Had Outsized Role At Constitutional Convention
Two of the colony's three delegates played key roles in advocating proposals that became part of the founding document.

(9.24.13) Enfield Riots Showed Colonists’ Distrust of Royal Government
North Carolinians proved unwilling to defer to corrupt politicians.

(8.27.13) Founder With Tar Heel Ties Met Unfortunate End
Historians consider James Wilson one of the nation’s most important early leaders.

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