C. Dallett Hemphill, 56, an American history professor at Ursinus College, an accomplished storyteller, and a scholar whose specialty was social history from colonial times to the 19th century, died at Jefferson Hospital on Friday, July 3, after a prolonged battle with breast cancer.
Ms. Hemphill's research topics included how the French government provided women for the settlers of Louisiana and the role of women in 18th-century Quaker meetings. She lived in Erdenheim, Montgomery Country.
She lent her expertise on early-American families and women to "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," Sam Katz's TV documentary series.
"She was just an outstanding scholar and mentor--and just a really wonderful person," Katz said Sunday.
During her 28 years at Ursinus, Ms. Hemphill taught an array of American history courses, as well as a class on civic engagement based on Philadelphia government and politics. Instead of focusing on the city's elected officials, Ms. Hemphill had students interview people who dealt regularly with the city from other perspectives, including neighborhood activists, ward leaders, political consultants, reporters, and City Hall lobbyists.
She was the author of two books published by Oxford University Press: Bowing to Necessities: A History of Manners in America, 1620-1860 and Siblings: Brothers and Sisters in American History.
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