Dr. Phyllis Gernhardt

Associate Professor History


My academic interests originate from my love of all things frontier and the pioneer spirit that I believe we all still possess.  Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I moved with my family to Texas in my youth.  My love of the West grew from the wildness of the Texas ranges and the spirit of the pioneers who settled such wilderness areas.  Their adventures captured my imagination.  As a History graduate student, I focused my research on the early settlement of my birthplace—Fort Wayne.  I love teaching about the courage of our nation’s diverse peoples.  I also love the wild landscapes that the early pioneers encountered.  As a teacher, I believe that students engage in topics that an instructor is passionate about, and I hope to pass along a love for the adventurous spirit that we have inherited from generations past. 

Areas of Interest

  • American Frontier and West
  • American Environment
  • Native American History
  • Women in American History
  • Indiana History
  • Fort Wayne History

Selected Publications

“The Aftermath of Victory:  The Settlement of Fort Wayne and the Surrounding Region,” in The Battle of Lake Erie and its Aftermath:  A Reassessment, edited by David Curtis Skaggs, Kent State University Press, 2013. 

‘Justice and Public Policy’:  Indian Trade, Treaties, and Removal from Northern Indiana, 1826-1846, in Boundaries Between Us, edited by Daniel P. Barr, Kent State University Press, 2006. 

Selected Presentations

The Legacy of the French and Indian War for Fort Wayne, Keynote Presentation for PBS39 and the History Center showing of The War That Made America, Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, March 19, 2006.  

Images of Women and World War II, Co-Presenter with Jane Martin, Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, January 14, 2006. 

Indian Trade and Miami Removal from Northeastern Indiana, invited presentation at the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society, Sunday Afternoon Series, June 3, 2005. 

Securing the Great Lakes Borderlands:  Anthony Wayne and the French Fur Traders at the Treaty of Greenville, 1795, presentation at the Great Lakes History Conference, October 29-30, 2004. 

“Public Business” and “Private Difficulties:”  The Politics of the Indian Agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1826-1828, presentation at the Great Lakes History Conference, November 10, 2001. 

“You will do well in coming . . . money is to be made:”  French Traders and the Federal Government on the Great Lakes Frontier, presentation at the Second National Policy History Conference, June 1-3, 2000. 

Trade, Treaties and Removal:  “Justice and Public Policy” at Fort Wayne on the Early Republic’s Frontier, presentation at the Annual Conference of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, July 15-18, 1999. 

From Kekionga’s Council House to Wayne’s Garrison:  Re-Settling the Great Lakes Region, invited presentation at the Conference on the Sixty Years’ War for the Great Lakes, 1754-1814, September 18-20, 1998.