Dr. Aaron Astor, Associate Professor of History at Maryville College, will discuss the various people who settled in Southern Appalachia and East Tennessee from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
People of Appalachia: From European Settlement to the Civil War is the third lecture in the Library’s Southern Appalachia Studies Series. Plan to attend on April 18, 2016 at 7 p.m. in the Sharon Lawson Room.
Beginning with a discussion of Overhill Cherokee towns, Astor will then examine the history of various European peoples who came to the mountains of East Tennessee and mixed together to form a distinct society. Settlers included English planters and African American slaves, recently freed indentured servants, Scots-Irish settlers arriving from Pennsylvania, French Huguenots, and Palatine Germans.
Astor will also discuss the Civil War and the nature of divided loyalties, guerrilla warfare and general crisis during the war years.
About the Author
Astor has written many articles, papers and chapters about the Civil War. His first book was Rebels on the Border: Civil War, Emancipation and the Reconstruction of Kentucky and Missouri, 1860-1872, published in 2012 by LSU Press for its Conflicting Worlds: New Perspectives on the Civil War series. His most recent book is The Civil War Along Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, released by History Press in May 2015.
He has also written eleven articles for the award-winning New York Times Disunion series, on such topics as guerrilla warfare, battles and campaigns in the Western Theater, popular politics, emancipation and race, and regional identity in the Appalachian South.
Astor contributes to several Civil War preservation and public education organizations in Tennessee and regularly speaks about the Civil War and regional identity in the Upper South. During Knoxville’s 2015 Civil War Sesquicentennial event, he served as the President of the East Tennessee Civil War Alliance.
He is currently working on a book that explores the 1860 Presidential election as a grassroots phenomenon from the perspective of four distinct American communities.
Astor earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Hamilton College, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in History from Northwestern University. Having taught at Maryville College since 2007, he lives in Maryville with his wife, Samantha, and their children.
Open to the public, this program is hosted by the Blount County Public Library, located at 508 N. Cusick Street, Maryville. For further information about library programs or services, call the library at 982-0981 or visit the Web site at www.blounttn.org/197.