Lorri Glover, Historian & Writer
Saint Louis University
I love learning and writing about early American history. I’ve published books on siblings and kinship in colonial South Carolina, masculinity in the Early Republic, the seventeenth-century colonization of Virginia and Bermuda, the intersection of family and politics in the lives of leading American Revolutionaries, and the fierce debates over the ratification of the US Constitution.
My most recent book is about Eliza Lucas Pinckney, an eighteenth-century globetrotter, entrepreneur, planter, enslaver, and head of a powerful and prominent family—who also happened to be a woman. The biography was published by Yale University Press in August 2020. And, my longtime editing partner Craig Thompson Friend and I published in March 2020 a collection of essays that brings together the talents of over three dozen leading scholars of the American South to explain the trends and innovations in the region’s history, from the sixteenth century to the twenty first.
Eliza Lucas Pinckney: An Independent Woman in the Age of Revolution
Born in Antigua in 1722 and educated in London, Eliza Lucas moved to the mainland colony of South Carolina with her family in the 1730s. When her father got recalled to his military post in the Caribbean, Eliza, barely seventeen years old, took over running the family estate. Extraordinarily capable and confident, she experimented with various crops, including indigo, which soon became a cornerstone of the Lowcountry economy. And she presided over a brutal slave regime, turning forced black labor into profits and prestige for her family. In her mid-twenties, she (partly, briefly) took on a more conventionally female role. She married a wealthy and politically powerful widower, Charles Pinckney, and started a family. After Charles died in 1758, Eliza vowed never to remarry. Instead, she managed her vast estate, including through the tumultuous years of the American Revolution, while raising three extraordinarily successful children.
I thoroughly enjoyed uncovering Eliza’s life, even when her values revolted me. The project carried me to London, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Antigua as well as back to Charleston, South Carolina, where I began my dissertation research two decades ago.
Available now, from LSU Press, this collecton of 19 essays illuminates the complicated and fascinating field of southern history. Each essay is written by a team of two leading scholars, who take a period or theme in southern history and untangle the innovations, signal interpretations, and future paths in that field. Craig Thompson Friend and I edited this collection, and we are extraordinarily proud of the volume and grateful to the stellar contributors. It was sometimes an ordeal to wrangle 38 busy historians—40 if we count ourselves—but it was definitely worth the work.
The volume received the 2020 Jules and Frances Landry Award from LSU Press.
Watch some of the authors discuss their work at the 2019 Southern Historical Association Meeting: