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Young, Mary (1929–) - Native American History

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Mary Young was born December 16, 1929, in Utica, New York, of English, Scotch-Irish, French, and Dutch ancestry. Her father was a college professor; her mother was an accountant. She attended elementary school and two years of high school in Hamilton, New York, then graduated from high school in Marietta, Georgia. Her early influences were mainly parental. Young lived a block from a graveyard and became interested in the headstones. She wondered at the differences in viewpoint expressed by her parents and her paternal grandmother, and she was fascinated, at age nine, with Henrik Willem Van Loon’s Story of Mankind . Young attended Oberlin College, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1950. She then attended Cornell University, where she completed the Ph.D. in 1955.

Young taught at Ithaca College as an instructor from 1954 to 1955, and at Ohio State University from 1955 to 1973, where she moved up the ranks from instructor to professor. Since 1973 she has been at the University of Rochester as professor of history. She has also served as acting chair of the history department and director of undergraduate studies in history at the University of Rochester.

Mary Young has written two books and nearly twenty articles. Much of her scholarship focuses on Cherokee history, particularly Cherokee land rights; she has also written on the historiography of the Indian frontier, the metaphysics of Indian-white relations, women and the Indian question, and war and culture on the frontier. Her current research, “Four Perspectives on Cherokee Removal,” focuses on violent and nonviolent conflict resolution on the Indian frontier.

Mary Young is an elected member of the American Antiquarian Society. She has received the Ray Allen Billington Award, the Pelzer Prize of the Organization of American Historians, the American Studies Association Prize, and the University Mentor Award. She has received grants from the Social Sciences Research Council and the Schalkenback Foundation, and was an Ezra Cornell fellow.

Young currently serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Social History, Ohio History , and Journal of American Ethnic History , and she previously served on the boards of Journal of American History, Journal of the Early Republic , and Marxist Perspectives . She has provided service to the Organization of American Historians by serving on the executive board and by serving on and chairing the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize Committee and the Program Committee. She has also served on the awards selection committees for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. From 1994 to 1995 Young was president of the Society for Historians of the Early Republic, after having served that organization as a member of the advisory council from 1981 to 1985.

Mary Young’s hobbies include reading murder mysteries, walking, travel, and arguing.

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over 2 years ago

Mary Young,

Took two classes from her at Ohio State. Marvelous instruction, learned so much from her; still believe in the Turner Thesis and the impact of the American west.