James C. Klotter

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James C. Klotter
Office Address: Georgetown College

400 E. College St. #244

Georgetown, KY 40324

(502) 863-8076; FAX (502) 868-8888

E-Mail: James_Klotter@georgetowncollege.edu
Home Address: 1087 The Lane, Lexington, KY 40504

(859) 277-4572

Education: Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 1975
Honorary Degrees: L.H.D., Union College, 1998

Litt.D., Eastern Kentucky University, 1997

Work Experience: Georgetown College, 1998-

Professor of History and the State Historian of Kentucky

Kentucky Historical Society, 1973-98

Executive Director and the State Historian, 1990-98

The State Historian and Assistant Director, KHS, 1988-90

The State Historian and General Editor, KHS, 1980-88

Managing Editor, Register of the KHS, 1978-80

Assistant Editor, KHS, 1973-78

Professional Memberships and Service:

Boards and Offices Held

Collaborative for Teaching and Learning

Board Member, 1998-2008

Vice Chair, 1998-99

Chair, 2000-2003

Kentucky Historical Society Foundation Board, 2001-2009

Kentucky Association of Teachers of History

President, 1985-87

Kentucky Council on Archives, Chair, 1980-82

University of Kentucky Library Associates

Board Member, 1982-84, 1995-2008

Vice-President, 1983-84

President, 1984-85

Kentucky Civil War Roundtable

Secretary, 1984-94

President, 1994-2007

Headley-Whitney Museum Board, 2002-2003

University Press of Kentucky Board, 2008-

Kentucky Mansions Preservation Foundation Board, 2006-

Ward Hall Preservation Foundation Board, 2004-

Filson Historical Society

Editorial Board, Ohio Valley History, 2001-

Kentucky Oral History Commission

Board Member, 1981-82, 1990-98

Advisory Board 1999-

Falls of the Ohio Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee

Board of Directors, 2001-2004

Conference of Historical Journals

Board Member, 1987-88

Frontier Nursing Service

Board of Governors, 1991-96

Advisory Boards

Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Advisory Council, 2006-2009

Muhammad Ali Museum Advisory Board, 1999-2002

Friends of McConnell Springs Advisory Board, 1998-

Camp Nelson Museum Advisory Board, 2004-2005

Eastern Kentucky University Center for Kentucky Studies Advisory Board, 1999-2008

Accelerated Schools Advisory Board, 1999-2002

“Kentucky Story!” Advisory Board, 2007-2008

Other Organizations and Committee Work

Henry Clay Foundation

Friends of Kentucky Archives

Bluegrass Trust for Historic Preservation

Society for Historians of the Early American Republic

Oral History Association

Journal Award Committee, 1996

American Association for State and Local History

Awards Committee, 1983-85

Election Committee, 1997

Southern Historical Association

Membership Committee, 1981-82, 1996-97

Program Committee, 1986-87

Holmes Award Committee, 2002-2003

Organization of American Historians

Publicity Committee, 1991

Selected Recent Honors:

Governor’s Outstanding Kentuckian Award, 1998

Distinguished Service Award, Kentucky Historical Society, 1998

Thomas D. Clark Award for Excellence in Kentucky History, 2003

Thomas D. Clark Award for Literary Excellence, 2004

Thomas D. Clark Kentucky Archives Award, 2005

Governor’s Award, 2007 (for the best book on Kentucky history, published over last four years)

President’s Award, Midwest Archives Conference, 2008

Outstanding Alumnus of Kentucky Award, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, 2008

McCandless Lecture, Regents Park College, University of Oxford, 2008

Principal Publications:

A Concise History of Kentucky (University Press of Kentucky, 2008). With Freda Klotter

Faces of Kentucky (University Press of Kentucky, 2006) With Freda C. Klotter

Received Award of Merit from Kentucky History Awards, Historical Confederation of Kentucky, and Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

Kentucky Justice, Southern Honor, and American Manhood: Understanding the Life and Death

of Richard Reid (LSU Press, 2003). Southern Biography Series. Won the Governor’s Award in 2007, for the best book on Kentucky history published over the past four years. Nominated for the Merle Curti Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Herbert Jacob Book Prize, the Kentucky Literary Award, the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award, National Council on Public History Book Award, and the Charles Sydnor Award.

A New History of Kentucky (University Press of Kentucky, 1997).

Coauthored with Lowell Harrison

Kentucky: Portrait in Paradox, 1900-1950 (Kentucky Historical Society, 1996).

History Mysteries: The Cases of James Harrod, Tecumseh, “Honest Dick” Tate, and William

Goebel (University Press of Kentucky, 1989).

The Breckinridges of Kentucky, 1760-1981 (University Press of Kentucky, 1986). Nominated for

Frank Owsley Award, Douglas S. Freeman History Award, and Richard Leopold Award.

William Goebel: The Politics of Wrath (University Press of Kentucky, 1977).

Kentucky: Decades of Discord, 1865-1900 (Kentucky Historical Society, 1977).

Coauthored with Hambleton Tapp. Chapter reprinted in From the Fort to the Future: Educating the Children of Kentucky (1986).

Edited Works:

Our Kentucky: A Study of the Bluegrass State (University Press of Kentucky, 1992; revised

edition, 2000). Editor.

Book received Certificate of Commendation, AASLH.

The Human Tradition in the Old South (Scholarly Resources, 2003). Editor.

The Human Tradition in the New South (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).Editor.

Kentucky: Land of Tomorrow (Kentucky Historical Society, 1998). Coeditor.

The Kentucky Encyclopedia (University Press of Kentucky, 1992). Associate editor.

The Union, The Civil War, and John W. Tuttle: A Kentucky Captains Account (Kentucky

Historical Society, 1982). Coedited with Hambleton Tapp.

Kentucky Profiles: Biographical Essays in Honor of Holman Hamilton (Kentucky Historical

Society, 1982). Coedited with Peter Sehlinger.

The Public Papers of Governor Simeon Willis, 1943-1947 (University Press of Kentucky, 1987).


General Editor, with Terry Birdwhistell and Doug Boyd, of “Kentucky Remembered: An Oral

History Series” for the University Press of Kentucky. Eight books in print to date: Bert Combs the Politician (1991), Barry Bingham: A Man of His Word (1993), Conversations with Kentucky Writers vol. 1 (1996), vol. 2 (1999), Tobacco Culture (1998), Food and Everyday Life on Kentucky Family Farms (2006), This is Home Now: Holocaust Survivors Speak (2009), and Freedom on the Border: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky (2009).

General Editor, “Topics in Kentucky History,” for the University Press of Kentucky. Three

volumes in print: Henry Watterson and the New South (2006) and Madeline McDowell Breckinridge: The Battle for a New South (2008), and Murder and Madness: The Myth of the Kentucky Tragedy (2009).

Chapters or Sections in Books:

“Family Influences on a Progressive: The Early Years of Sophonisba P. Breckinridge,” in

Kentucky Profiles (1982)

“William O’Connell Bradley,” “William Sylvester Taylor,” “William Goebel,” and “Simeon Willis,” in Lowell H. Harrison, ed., Kentucky Governors (1985; rev.ed., 2004)

“The Frontier Years,” “The Natural World,” “Making a Living,” “Roads, Rivers and Rails,”

“Religion and Education,” “The Civil War,” “The Rural and Urban Landscape,” in

Martin E. Schmidt, Kentucky Illustrated (1992)

“Past as Prologue,” in Michael T. Childress, ed., Exploring the Frontier of the Future (1996)

“Kentucky Historian,” in John E. Kleber, ed., Thomas D. Clark of Kentucky: An Uncommon Life

in the Commonwealth (2003)
Major Articles:

“The Black South and White Appalachia”

Journal of American History, 66 (March 1980): 932-49

Reprinted in Turner and Cabell, eds., Blacks in Appalachia

(University Press of Kentucky, 1985).

“Sex, Scandal, and Suffrage in the Gilded Age”

The Historian, 42 (February 1980): 225-43

“Slavery and Race: A Family Perspective”

Southern Studies, 17 (Winter 1978): 375-97

“Clio in the Commonwealth: The Status of Kentucky History”

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 80 (Winter 1982): 65-88. Reprinted as

The Status of Kentucky History in pamphlet form by NEH-funded “Reflections of the

Past” project.

“Moving Kentucky Into the 21st Century: Where should we go from here?”

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 97 (Winter 1999): 83-112

“Appalachian Feuds: An Overview”

Filson Club History Quarterly, 56 (July 1982): 290-317

“Snapshots of a State in Change: An Overview of Kentucky in the Twentieth Century”

Filson Club History Quarterly, 66 (July 1992): 421-48.

Winner of the Otto A. Rothert Award for the best article published in the journal in 1992.

“Promise, Pessimism, and Perseverance: An Overview of Higher Education History in


Ohio Valley History 6 (Spring 2006): 45-60.

“Little Shepherds, Little Colonels, and Little Kingdoms: A Selective Review of Kentucky

Writing, 1784-1950”

Journal of Kentucky Studies, 3 (October 1986): 61-72.
Other Articles and Publications

(in order of publication)

“Mary Desha: Alaskan Schoolteacher of 1888”

Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 71 (April 1980) (with Freda Klotter).

“A Hatfield-McCoy Feudist Pleads for Mercy”

West Virginia History, 43 (Summer 1982)

“Introduction,” in Eleanor B. Chalkley, Magic Casements (Frankfort: Kentucky Historical

Society, 1982)

Annotated and Selected Bibliography of Kentucky History (Frankfort: Kentucky Historical

Society, 1983)

“Publishing in State Journals”

OAH Newsletter (August 1983)

“Old Families and the New History”

Reviews in American History (September 1983)

“The History of the Family: Old, New, and Hybrid Approaches”

KATH Newsletter, 7 (Spring 1984)

“Boss Ben Johnson, the Highway Commission, and Kentucky Politics, 1927-1937”

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 84 (Winter 1986) (coauthor)

“Kentucky in the Constitutional Era”

Kentucky Bench & Bar, 51 (Fall 1987)

“Hatfields and McCoys Revised”

Appalachian Journal, 15 (Summer 1988)

“Advice for ABDs”

OAH Newsletter, 16 (August 1988)

“Slavery in Louisville”

in Randall Miller and J.D. Smith eds., Dictionary of Afro-American Slavery (1988)

“What Makes Kentucky Unique?” Guidelines (September 1988)

A Century of Banking: The Story of Farmers State Bank and Banking in Owsley County,

1890-1990 (Booneville: Farmers State Bank, 1989) (coauthor)

“Researching and Writing Local History in Kentucky”

The Circuit Rider, 12 (July/August 1989)

“Two Centuries of the Lottery in Kentucky”

The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 87 (Autumn 1989)

“Preface,” in Kentuckys Historic Farms (Turner Publishing Co., 1994)

Sixteen articles in The Kentucky Encyclopedia (1992)

“Introduction,” in Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition: Kentuckians and World War II

(Frankfort: Kentucky Historical Society, 1994)

“Kentucky,” in Donald C. Bacon, et al., eds., Encyclopedia of the United States Congress. Vol 3(1995)

“Kentucky,” in Dictionary of American History: A Supplement (1996)

“Kentucky Business History: A Story Begging to be Told,” Kentucky Humanities 1 (1997)

“Migration and Kentucky: An Overview,” in Kentucky Connections: Teaching with History (1998)

“Time Past and Time Future: Kentucky History, People, and the Next Century”

Kentucky Living 52 (1998)

“What Might Have Been,” Kentucky Journal (1998)

“Foreword,” in Craig T. Friend, ed., The Buzzel about Kentuck (Lexington: University Press of

Kentucky, 1998).

“Earle Chester Clements,” in Kenneth T. Jackson, ed., Scribners Encyclopedia of American

Lives. Vol. 1 (1998)

“J.C.S. Blackburn,” “W.C.P. Breckinridge,” in John A. Garraty and Mark C. Caines, eds.,

American National Biography. Vol. 2, 3.

“Robert Jefferson Breckinridge,” in Richard J. Attenbaugh, ed., Historical Dictionary of American Education (1999)

“James Douglas Breckinridge,” “Whig Party,” in John E. Kleber, ed., Encyclopedia of

Louisville (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2000)

“Looking Backward Into the Future,” Kentucky Humanities (2000)

“What if…?” Kentucky Humanities (2000)

Georgetown (published in Japanese only, 2000)

“John Cabell Breckinridge,” Encyclopedia of the American Civil War. Vol. 1 (2000)

“John Sherman Cooper,” Scribner's Encyclopedia of American Lives. Vol. 3 (2001)

“Undertaking a Capital Campaign: Lessons from the Kentucky Historical Society,” History

News, 56 (Spring 2001)

“William Goebel,” in Leonard Schlup and James G. Ryan, eds., Historical Dictionary of the

Gilded Age (2003)

“Foreword,” to Peter Sehlinger, Kentucky’s Last Cavalier (Frankfort: Kentucky Historical

Society, 2004)

“Duty, Honor, and Family: The Breckinridges of Kentucky,” Kentucky’s Civil War 3 (2004)

A 100 Year Partnership: Hyden Citizens Bank and Leslie County, 1904-2004 (Hyden: Citizens

Bank, 2005)

“The Echoes of the Civil War in Kentucky,” in Jerlene Rose, ed., Kentucky’s Civil War (Clay

City: Back Home in Kentucky, 2005)

“History,” in Clark’s Kentucky Almanac and Book of Facts, 2006 (Lexington: Clark Group,

2005) Also appeared in later editions.

“Mary Breckinridge” and “Frontier Nursing Service,” in Ruth Abramson and Jean Haskell, eds.,

Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2006): 1642-43, 1649-50

Faces of Kentucky Teacher Guide (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006). Coauthor.

“Introduction,” in Thomas D. Clark, My Century in History (Lexington: University Press of

Kentucky, 2006)

“Kentucky,” in Richard Zuczak, ed., Encyclopedia of the Recontruction Era. 2 vols. (Westport,

CN: Greenwood Press, 2006): 354-58

“Foreward,” in Frederick Smock, ed., Abraham Lincoln of Kentucky (Frankfort: Kentucky Arts

Council, 2008)

“A Power Trio,” Kentucky Humanities (November 2008): 30-32

“Preface,” to Susan Dwyer, Lincoln’s Advocate (2009)

“William Goebel,” Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky (Lexington: University Press of

Kentucky, 2009)
Reviews: Over 90 book reviews have appeared in some two dozen publications including:

Journal of American History

Journal of Southern History

Journal of Social History

Public Historian

Indiana Magazine of History

Ohio History

West Virginia History

Virginia Magazine of History

North Carolina Historical Review

Tennessee Historical Quarterly

Georgia Historical Quarterly

North Dakota History

Chronicles of Oklahoma

Appalachian Heritage

Atlanta History

Filson Historical Quarterly

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Louisville Courier-Journal

Lexington Herald-Leader

Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Science

Teacher College Record
Manuscripts have been read and evaluated for scholarly presses and journals including:

Journal of American History

Journal of Southern History

Law and History Review

Journal of the Early American Republic

Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Ohio Valley History

Kentucky Review


Oxford University Press

University Press of Kentucky

LSU Press

University of Tennessee Press

University of Alabama Press

University Press of Florida

Ohio University Press

Kent State University Press
Selected Scholarly Papers:

“The Politics of Wrath: Assassination of a Kentucky Governor, 1900,” American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., January 1999.

“W.C.P. Breckinridge,” Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November 15, 1979

“Practitioners of the Craft: Historians on the Job,” Southwestern Historical Association, Dallas, TX, March 28, 1981

“Publishing in State History Journals,” Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, Baltimore, Maryland, October 23, 1982

“Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: The Editor’s Role,” Ohio Valley History Conference, Murray, Ky., October 4, 1986

History Mysteries and Adult New Readers,” Modern Language Association Conference on

Literacy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, September 14, 1990

“Is Kentucky Southern?” Southern Foodways Alliance, Louisville, Ky., July. 11, 2008

“Kentucky History: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” Japan-American Society, Frankfort, Ky.,

August 13, 1996
In addition, talks have been given to university groups within the state, at the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Murray State University, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Bellarmine College, Berea College, Centre College, Cumberland College, Georgetown College, Thomas More College, Transylvania University, Union College, and elsewhere. Overall, some 900 presentations have been made in over 75 Kentucky counties, to groups ranging from Elderhostel and literary and historical societies, to Leadership Kentucky and the Commonwealth Fellows, to Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers’ Bureau groups.


Codirector, NHPRC Grant, Papers of the Governors (1980-81) $67,000

Codirector, NHPRC Grant, State Board of Assessment (1982) $22,000

Project Coordinator, Kentucky Humanities Grant, Kentucky Studies Seminar (1984) $22,000

Chair, National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, Reflections of the Past: Archival

Resources in Kentucky (1985) $143,000

Humanities scholar for over a dozen grants from the Kentucky Humanities Council and other

agencies over the years.

Breaux Fellowship, Filson Historical Society, 2004

Mellon Research Fellowship, Virginia Historical Society, 2005

Summer Study Grant, Georgetown College, 2007

Media Experiences:

Have been contacted on a regular basis by journalists. In the field of radio, have made numerous appearances on call-in shows and have been used as a historical resource and for comment by the Kentucky Network, NPR, and other in-state and out-of-state stations.

Regarding television, have appeared in many in-state commercial and cable programs. In the field of public television, have been a consultant on various programs, and have appeared in several others, ranging from ones on Settlement Schools, to “Ed Prichard Remembers Kentucky in the New Deal,” to more frequent appearances on “Comment on Kentucky.” Nationally, have made several appearances on separate programs on the A & E Network, including its “Biography” series and “Civil War Journal,” and on the History Channel.

College Duties (Abbreviated)

Chair, Curriculum Committee, 2001-2004

Chair, Teacher Education Committee, 2000-2001

Chair, Grievance Committee, 2005

Acting Chair, History Department, 2001-2002

Member, Honors Committee, 2005-2006

Member, Graduate Council, 2005-

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