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Patricia Cleary, Ph. D.

B.A., Rice University
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Contact Information:
562 985-4419
Office: FO2-212
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601

Patricia Cleary’s research interests lie in the area of early American history. Her early research was on the intersections of gender and commerce in British America, featured in her biography of Elizabeth Murray, Elizabeth Murray: A Woman’s Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-century America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000), and on the NEH-funded website based on Murray’s life, The Elizabeth Murray Project: A Resource Site in Early American History (, 2002-2013. More recently, she has turned to the study of early St. Louis. A St. Louis native, she explored the complex social, economic, and political dynamics of this French-speaking outpost of the Spanish empire in The World, the Flesh, and the Devil: A History of Colonial St. Louis (University of Missouri Press, 2011). She is working now on researching the history of Indian mounds in the Mississippi River Valley and the roles of Indian peoples in shaping the area’s society, culture, and economy in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for a book project on The Destruction of the Mounds: Memory, Civic Culture, and the Indigenous Past in Nineteenth-Century St. Louis. 


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Honors and Awards

  • Center for Missouri Studies Fellowship, 2017.
  • Mellon Research Fellowship, Huntington Library, San Marino, California, Summer 2011.
  • Butcher Scholar Fellowship, Institute for the Study of the American West at the Autry National Center, 2005-2006.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, “We, the People” award, Grants for Teaching and Learning Resources and Curriculum Development, 2004-2007.