Michelle Cassidy

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Michelle Cassidy

Doctoral Candidate in History

1029 Tisch Hall, Ann Arbor MI, 48109-1003


  • Fields of Study
    • 18th/19th C US
    • Native American
    • Great Lakes borderlands
    • American Civil War
  • About

    From 1863 to 1865, 136 Anishinaabe men served in Company K of the First Michigan Sharpshooters. In order to understand why these Odawa, Ojibwe, and Bodewadmi men fought in the Civil War, my research examines changes in Anishinaabe masculinity, leadership, and status from Pontiac’s War (1763) through the 1890s. Military records, missionary correspondence, and battlefield memoirs suggest that many Anishinaabe soldiers used Christianity, as well as military service, to acquire or sustain leadership positions and preserve rights to land. They claimed the rights and responsibilities of male citizenship while also actively preserving their status as Indians and Anishinaabe peoples. This history complicates the binary of black and white racial categories that dominates many discussions of the Civil War and citizenship, while also stressing the diversity of Indian country during a period of Indian removal and reservations.


     Cassidy, M. (2012). “The More Noise They Make”: Odawa and Ojibwe Encounters with American Missionaries in Northern Michigan, 1837-1871. The Michigan Historical Review, 38 (2), 1-34

  • Education
    • BA, History & English, University of Michigan, 2007