Monday, September 14, 2015

Pray for the Family of Ethan Schmidt

This strikes way to close to home. 

As many of you already know, Ethan Schmidt, an early American history professor at Delta State University in Mississippi, was killed today in his office. I did not know Ethan, but he was recently featured at the blog of the American Historical Association.  Here is a taste of that interview

When did you first develop an interest in history? I grew up in a family that valued history. 

My parents were both involved in historic preservation. My father is a collector of Civil War and other 19th-century Kansas memorabilia. Both he and my mother have always exhibited considerable interest in 19th-century America, so I came of age with parents and extended family members who were as often as not engaged in some kind of discussion in which history played either a primary or tangential role. When I went to college at Emporia State University, I was originally a political science major (I wanted to be an attorney). I took US history to 1877 from Christopher Phillips (now with the University of Cincinnati) and loved it and him. I made history my minor, but continued to take every class with Chris that I could. Finally, one day I was leaving class my junior year I saw a flyer which listed the requirements to major in history and I realized I was only about six hours short. I was questioning my desire to go to law school at that point as well, so I went straight to the History Department office and declared a dual major in political science and history. Not long after that, Ronald McCoy (now at Oklahoma State University) introduced me to ethnohistory and I was hooked! 

What projects are you working on currently? My first monograph, The Divided Dominion: Social Conflict and Indian Hatred in Early Virginia, is currently in production with the University of Colorado Press and should be published sometime in 2014. My second project, a synthesis of the Native American experience in the American Revolution tentatively titled The Greatest Blow That Could Have Been Dealt Us: Native Americans and the American Revolution, is under contract with ABC-CLIO. 

I understand that Ethan was a real family man.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this tragedy.