Richard Grimes

Adjunct Faculty
Liberal Arts

331 College Hall
Phone: 412-396-2646


Ph.D., History, West Virginia University
M.A., History, Duquesne University
B.A., Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
Areas of Specialization

Native American History and Culture
Colonial America
The Early American Republic
The American West 


Book Titles:

Introduction: Reprint edition of Frank Wilcox, Ohio Indian Trails, The Kent State University Press, 2015.

The Western Delaware Indian Nation, 1730-1795: Warriors and Diplomats, Lehigh University Press, Studies in the Eighteenth Century and the Atlantic World, 2017

Grimes (adjunct, LaRoche College-Duquesne University) offers an updated and deeply researched account of the Delaware Nation's search for new homelands outside the boundaries of their ancestral territories in what is now Pennsylvania after 1730. While acknowledging the occasionally tragic character of this "diaspora," Grimes also emphasizes the degree to which the Delawares' movements represented "an optimistic pursuit" of novel political, economic, and military opportunities. The monograph reflects a gendered understanding of historical change, asGrimes narrates the Delawares' transition to a "masculine-centered" culture in the trans-Allegheny west. Battling the convenient assignment by Colonial authorities of their subordinate status to the Six Nations of the Iroquois League, the Delawares articulated a position of nationhood for themselves in the realms of war and diplomacy from 1755 to 1795. The book's conclusion carries the story into the 19th century, tracing the route that led the Western Delawares to Indian Territory. Bucking recent trends in scholarship, Grimes eschews the inclusion of "an uplifting end to the story," opting instead to emphasize the degree to which the impositions of the US ultimately prevented the Western Delawares from achieving political cohesion in the trans-Mississippi West. Reviewer: J. W. Parmenter, Cornell University Recommended
All levels/libraries.
Readership Level: General Readers, Lower-division Undergraduates, Upper-division Undergraduates, Graduate Students, Researchers/Faculty, Two-Year Technical ProgramStudents, Professionals/Practitioners

Richard Grimes has produced a comprehensive analysis of the rise of the western Delaware Indian nation . . . . No other work delves into this process as deeply or develops the implications of Delaware westward migration as effectively. It's an illuminating and important chapter in the larger story of native migration and reconstruction in the late eighteenth century.-Daniel P. Barr-- Robert Morris University

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

"We ‘now have taken up the Hatchet against them'": Braddock's Defeat and the Martial Liberation of the Western Delawares" in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (July 2013)

"When East Met West: The Early Experiences of Delaware Indians in Kansas Territory, 1830-1845" in Journal of the West 41 (Winter 2002).

"The Making of a Sioux Legend: The Historiography of Crazy Horse" in South Dakota History vol. 30 (Fall 2000).

"The Ascent of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, 1838-1869" in Journal of the Indian Wars (Fall 2000).

Courses Taught

History 151: Shaping of the Modern World

History 203: U.S. to 1877

History 320: Colonial America

History328: Early Republic: U.S. 1787-1850

History 387: Native American History

Current Research Interests

I am currently working on an article focusing on the political rise of the Wolf phratry (large clan or division) within the Western Delaware Indian nation during the American Revolution. The key focus of the article will explore the historical events and circumstances that propelled the Wolf division to dominance over the other main phratries (Turtle and Turkey) in the Great Council and thus direct the Western Delawares in military support for the British. I plan to submit the article to The William and Mary Quarterly.

In the spring of 2019, I will begin my new research on the role of the Cheyenne Dog Soldier (Hōtăʹmĭtăʹniu) military society in spearheading the resistance of the Cheyenne nation against U.S. expansion in the post-Civil War American West. I plan to focus on how the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, as nomadic raiders on the central plains, pulled together the Northern and Southern Cheyenne bands in a common cause of defending hunting grounds and throwing back the territorial expansion of the United States.