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EIU Department of History

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Dr. Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz, Associate Professor & History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science Coordinator

Office: 2556 - Coleman Hall

I am a historian of the 19th century United States who specializes in in American women's history. My first book, The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism, was published in 2013 and was named a Kansas Notable Book in 2014. I teach the US survey, American women's history, Civil War era history, social studies teaching methods, and historical research/writing, and I serve as coordinator for History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science. I also work with the Illinois Civics Hub as a Civics Instructional Coach to assist middle level and secondary Civics teachers in downstate IL and write about civics topics for 




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Frequently Taught Courses

HIS 2010: The United States to 1877
HIS 2500: Historical Research and Writing
HIS 3900: Women in American History
HIS 4775: The Civil War Era, 1831-1877

SOS 2400: Introduction to Social Studies Teaching
SOS 3400: Social Studies Teaching Methods for Middle and Secondary Schools
HIS 5340: The Long 19th Century
HIS 5150: History of American Women, Gender, and Sexuality





PhD, Indiana University, 2009
MA, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2000
BA, Knox College, 1998



Professional Organizations


  • Organization of American Historians
  • Society for Historians of the Early Republic
  • National Council on History Education
  • National Council for the Social Studies
  • Illinois Council for the Social Studies


I have just finished a documentary project on woman's rights reformer Lucy Stone, looking at the intersections of her personal and public life in her work and woman's rights ideology. I am now working on a piece about woman's rights activists during the Civil War. In addition, I am just beginning a longer-term project looking at the so-called "history wars" of the 19th century.



Selected Publications

  • "Having It All: Lucy Stone, Motherhood, and Woman's Rights," Women and Social Movements in the United States (Alexander Street Press, 2021)
  • "A Historical Inquiry into John Brown and His Raiders” (co-authored with Jay Bickford), in Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, ed. Mike Karpyn et al. (Peter Lang, forthcoming)
  • “Confronting the Disconnect in Student Understanding of the Causes of the Civil War,” in Teaching the Causes of the American Civil War, ed. Mike Karpyn et al. (Peter Lang, forthcoming)
  • Is Justice Blind? An Inquiry into Judicial Decision Making in Flowers v. Mississippi
  • The Fate of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans, Illinois Civics Education Resource Site
  • "Women's Rights and Gender Ideology, 1848-1890," Routledge Companion to the Nineteenth Century, ed. Jonathan Wells (Routledge, 2018)
  • "Keep on Marching: The Women’s Marches of 1876, 1913, and 2017,” Nursing Clio, February 9, 2017,
  • "How John Brown Smashed the Whiskey Barrel: John Brown's Children in Southern California and Memory of the American Civil War," California History 90 (fall 2015)
  • The Tie That Bound Us: The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism (Cornell University Press, 2013)
  • “John Brown’s Widow in Topeka: The Contested over Brown’s Legacy in Kansas in 1882 and Beyond,” Kansas History (2013)



Selected Conference Presentations

  • ​​​​​​“The Women of John Brown’s Family and the Long Reach of the Civil War,” The Henry Ford, May 27, 2019 (Civil War Remembrance weekend)
  • “John Brown’s Children and the Long Reach of the Civil War,” Civil War Museum, Kenosha, WI, March 16, 2019 (Home front Seminar)
  • “‘Strong-Minded Tendencies’: Lucy Stone, Radical Woman’s Rights, Motherhood, and the Civil War,” Indiana Association of Historians, University of Indianapolis, February 23, 2018
  • "Lucy Stone, Women's Rights, and Intellectual Life," SHEAR Conference, July 2017
  • "Lucy Stone and the Dilemma of the Mother-Citizen," Organization of American Historians Conference, April 2017
  • "Engaging Students in Historical Inquiry," Missouri Council on History Education, September 2015
  • “‘Relicts’ of the War: Famous Widows and the Shaping of Civil War Memory,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s Historian, Toronto, May 2014
  • “‘he depended on me to watch’: Annie Brown, Housekeeper and Guerilla,” Society of Civil War Historians Annual Conference, Lexington, KY, June 2012
  •  “Making eoc Tests Central but Not Dominant: Idealistic Pragmatism in the History Education Classroom,” OAH/NCPH Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, April 19-22, 2012
  •  “Using Primary Sources to Teach the Revolutionary Era,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 23, 2012
  •  “Children of Notoriety: Interpreting the War’s Legacy at the Deaths of Owen Brown and Winnie Davis,” “The Legacy of the Civil War: An Interdisciplinary Conference,” Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA, Nov. 10-12, 2011
  • “Illuminating Invisible Pasts: Utilizing the Sesquicentennial to Re-Imagine the Interpretations of the Civil War Era,” panel presentation, Symposium on Public History and the American Civil War, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, March 26, 2011
  • “Teaching the Outbreak of the War through John Brown’s Raid,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 24, 2011
  •  “The Civil War: A Historian’s Roundtable,” North Carolina Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference, February 24, 2011
  • “‘Thanks to your own struggles … the slave is free’: Mary Brown’s 1882 Eastern Tour,” Organization of American Historians Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., April 2010 [panel organizer: “The Memory of John Brown & Radical Antislavery Culture in America, 1880–1940”]
  • “Annie Brown Adams and the Harpers Ferry Raid,” “John Brown Remembered:  150th Anniversary of the Raid on Harpers Ferry,” Harpers Ferry National Park, Harpers Ferry, WV, October 14–17, 2009
  • “‘Am I Not John Brown’s Daughter?’: Annie Brown and Abolitionist Activism,” Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, Minneapolis, MN, June 2008
  • “Could I Not Do Something for the Cause? The Brown Women and John Brown’s Female Networks,” Brown Bag Talk, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA, June 6, 2007
  • “‘I am the only person who can honestly claim to be ‘the last survivor’: The Brown Women in Gilded Age and Progressive America,” American Historical Association Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA, January 2007



Funding & Grants

  • College of Arts and Humanities Travel Award, Eastern Illinois University, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Faculty Development Partnership Grant, Eastern Illinois University, 2017
  • CFR Faculty Research Grant, summer 2016
  • URSCA Sponsor Grants, summer 2015, fall 2015
  • Redden Grants for Undergraduate Education, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2008–2009
  • Fletcher Jones Foundation Huntington Research Fellow, Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 2008–2009
  • Fellowship, Schlesinger Library Summer Seminar on Gender History: “Writing Past Lives: Biography as History,” June 24–29, 2007
  • Gilder Lehrman Fellowship, 2006–2007
  • Ruth R. & Alyson R. Miller Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2006–2007
  • James Madison Memorial Foundation Fellowship in American History, 1998–2000




  • SACIS Board 
  • Gifted and Talented Education Committee, CUSD 1






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Contact Information

History Department

2744 Coleman Hall
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Sace E Elder, Chair

2542 Coleman Hall

Brian Mann, Undergraduate Advisor

3721 - Coleman Hall

Lee Patterson, Graduate Coordinator

2572 - Coleman Hall

Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz
History with Teacher Licensure in Social Science Coordinator

2556 Coleman Hall

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