John Cavanagh, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of History


  • PhD, Duke University
  • MA, Columbia University
  • BA, Dartmouth College

Research Interests

The American South
U.S. 18th century
Military history


Suffolk University, 1970 -
University of Tennessee, 1965-1969
Duke University, 1963-1965

Selected Publications

"The Papers of Major General Benjamin Lincoln," Massachusetts Historical Society Miscellany,Vol. I, No. 8 (November, 1963),

"American Military Leadership in the Southern Campaign: Bemjamin Lincoln," in W. Robert Higgins (ed.), The Revolutionary War in the South: Power, Conflict, and Leadership (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1979), pp. 101-131.

"The Battle of Cross Keys, Virginia," and "The Battle of Waxhaws, South Carolina," in David C. Roller et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Southern History (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979).

Book Review of Volumes II, III of Richard K. Showman et al (eds.) The Papers of Nathanael Greene, in The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. ILII, No. 1 (January, 1985), 149-151.

Decision at Fayetteville; The North Carolina Ratification Convention and General Assembly of 1789 (Raleigh: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1989).

Book Review of James A. Huston, Logistics of Liberty; American Services of Supply in the Revolutionary War and After, in the American Historical Review (June, 1992), 933.

Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810), in Richard L. Blanco (ed.), The American Revolution: An Encyclopedia, 2 vols. (Hamden, Conn.: Garland Publishing, 1993).

"[Hillsborough Ratification] Convention of 1788, and "[Fayetteville Ratification] Convention of 1789," in William S. Powell ed.), Encyclopedia of North Carolina (Chapel Hill: U.N.C. Press, 2006), pp. 287-288.

Professional Activities

Chair, Department of History, Suffolk University, 1973-1987
President, Suffolk Chapter of AAUP, 1972-73
Member, Southern Historical Association
Member, American Historical Association

Other Activities

Member, The Heritage Committee of Suffolk Unversity since its 1979 founding
Professor, Academic Department, Center for International Studies, Madrid, Spain, Fall Semester, 1992
College Fundraising Coordinator, Suffolk University Fiinancial Campaigns for 1980-81, 1984-85
Member, Mayor Raymond L. Flynn's Boston Committee for the Bicentennial of the Federal Constitution, 1989
Chair, Combined Social Committees of Suffolk University, 1978-1991
Dartmouth Alumni Admissions Committee, Greater Boston, 1974-77
Duke Alumni Admissions Committee, Greater Boston 1977-1986
Faculty Advisor, Theta Lambda Chapter, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, 1971-2007

Courses Taught

HST 101 Western Civilization I
HST 102 Western Civililzation II
HST 181 American History I
HST 182 American History II
HST 277 Early Mesoamerican Life and Culture
HST 278 Mexico Since the Spanish Conquest
HST 279 The Spanish Civil War
HST 360 Native America: From Pre-history to the Trail of Tears
HST 361 Native America: 1832 to the Present
HST 381 American Colonial History
HST 382 Era of the American Revolution
HST 391 The Young Nation: U.S. History, 1789-1850
HST 392 The American Civil War and Reconstruction
HST 393 America: The Old and New South
The Gilded Age, 1870-1900
American Foreign Relations to 1898
American Foreign Relations Since 1898
U.S. Twentieth Century History