Troy Kickler is the Founding Director of the North Carolina History Project and Editor of He holds an M.S. in Social Studies Education from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee. He has taught at the University of Tennessee, Barton College, and North Carolina State University. Kickler is author of The King’s Trouble Makers: Edenton’s Role in Creating a Nation and State. He is also co-editor of a soon-to-be-published anthology project tentatively titled North Carolina Founders: A Reexamination. He is also editor of an upcoming research volume Nathaniel Macon: Selected Congressional Speeches and Correspondence. Some of Kickler’s publications include “Caught in the Crossfire: African American Children and the Ideological Battle for Education in Reconstruction Tennessee” (Children and Youth During the Civil War Era, New York University Press, 2012, James Marten, ed.) and “Why The Constitution is Essential” as part of State Policy Network’s We The People series. He is currently working on a study of Andrew Jackson’s leadership style. He has been invited and has written various forwards and introductions to scholarly works. Such publications include Riot and Resistance in County Norfolk, 1646-1650, The Impact of the English Colonization of Ireland in the Sixteenth Century, and The Federalist Papers: A Reader’s Guide. He has written articles and reviews for such publications as American Diplomacy, Chronicles, Constituting America, Imaginative Conservative, Independent Review, Journal of Mississippi History, Modern Age, Tennessee Baptist History, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, and The Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians. Kickler has presented at numerous academic conferences and venues including the American Political Science Association and the First Principles Program of Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In addition, he has presented dozens of lectures to civic groups across North Carolina exploring, respectively, the history of North Carolina and the United States and the North Carolina Constitution and United States Constitution. His commentaries have appeared in major North Carolina newspaper outlets, and he has been interviewed for several North Carolina talk-radio stations and news programs. He also has blogged for History News Network. Kickler has a monthly column for Carolina Journal. Directing several educational programs, Kickler was co-creator of the popular A Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop. He has also directed the John Locke Foundation’s State of Our Constitution symposia series, a program created to foster state constitutional literacy. He currently directs North Carolina History Project’s Living History Event series and NCHP’s Lecture Series. He serves on various boards, including the Scholarly Advisory Board of The Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection, a collaborative project of Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University, and the College Level Advisory Board of Constituting America, an online essay series exploring the U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and the Founding Era.


James Wilson--A U.S. Supreme Court Justice Who Met an Unfortunate End

Many United States and North Carolina history enthusiasts are aware that President George Washington nominated James Iredell, Sr. (namesake of Iredell County, North Carolina) as one of the first justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Far fewer are aware that another Washington appointee to the high court called North Carolina home, albeit for only the final year of his life.


Constitution Day: Tar Heels Take Center Stage in Famous Painting

On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine delegates signed the U.S. Constitution and then submitted it to the various state ratification conventions to approve. What was accomplished on that day was nothing less than remarkable: delegates had agreed on the final draft of the first written national constitution that still remains in effect. Today is Constitution Day, and we as Americans remember the signers’ actions and the document’s importance to ensuring the rule of law, even in our modern world.


Little-Known Johnston Had Illustrious Political and Legal Career

Although born in Scotland in 1733, Samuel Johnston lived in North Carolina from infancy. Historians have described the native Scot as a “prominent voice for the Patriot cause” who possessed “Revolutionary zeal.” Even so, many North Carolinians today are unaware of his illustrious political and legal career.


Urban Slaves a Little-Recognized Part of The Southern Economy

In my experiences teaching United States history, students have a misconception that American slavery was strictly an agricultural institution. The slave labor experience, in particular, is considered one that existed entirely on plantation fields, sowing, tending, or harvesting cash crops — tobacco, cotton, or rice. Not all rural slaves worked on plantations, though; many toiled on smaller farms with a workforce of five to 10 field hands.


Poor No More (1959)

Robert Ruark’s second novel did not sell as well as his first, Something of Value.  Most critics disapproved of the long manuscript, with its controversial topics and vivid descriptions.  After spending approximately four years on the work, Ruark had a different opinion.   


Guy Owen's Fiction Trancends Its Rural North Carolina Settings

North Carolina native Guy Owen uses his personal experiences growing up to shape his fictional works. Owen’s work is particularly regional, and in many ways local to North Carolina. But in his fiction, he transcends the rural North Carolina setting and addresses broader and more universal themes.