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Abby Chandler

Abby Chandler
Abigail B ChandlerAssociate Professor
  • CollegeCollege of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • DepartmentHistory
  • Phone(978) 934-4529

Research Interests

Early American History, Legal History, Public History and Material Culture

I am currently working on a comparative study of sexual misconduct court trials in New England from 1650-1750. I also am conducting research on the legal roles played by midwives in both England and the English colonies in North America.


  • Ph D: History, (2008), University of Maine at Orono - Orono, ME
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: At the Magistrate's Discretion: Sexual Crime and New England Law, 1636-1718
  • MA: American History, (2002), University of Massachusetts Amherst - Amherst, MA
    Supporting Area: Public History
  • BA: History, (1996), Colby College - Waterville, ME

Awards and Honors

  • Teaching Excellence Award, History Department (2011), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Outstanding Graduate Ph.D. Student (2009) - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


  • Chandler, A.B. (2015) "From Birth Chamber to Court Room: The Medical and Legal Community of the Colonial Essex County Midwife," Early Modern Women 9:2 pp. 109-38
  • Chandler, A.B. (2015) "Law and sexual misconduct in New England, 1650-1750: steering toward England," Ashgate
  • Chandler, A.B. (2014) "Teaching with a Tea Set: Using Objects in the US History Survey," Perspectives on History 52:4 pp. 31-32
  • Chandler, A. (2013) "The Spice of Popery: Converging Christianities on an Early American Frontier," Journal of Church & State 55:3 pp. 1-3
  • Chandler, A. (2012) "Witches, Wife Beaters, and Whores: Common Law and Common Folk in Early America," William & Mary Quarterly 69:4 pp. 879-881
  • Chandler, A. (2012) "The first prejudice. Religious tolerance and intolerance in early America," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 63:1 pp. 171
  • Chandler, A. (2011) ""And the author of wickedness Surely is most to be blamed": The Declaration of Debora Proctor," Legacy 28:2 pp. 312-329
  • Chandler, A. (2010) "" Incontinent Practices": Women, Language, and Sexual Crime in Colonial Maine," Early Modern Women pp. 217–221
  • Chandler, A. (2008) "At the Magistrate’s Discretion: Sexual Crime and New England Law, 1636-1718," Wellesley College


  • The Midwives of Colonial Essex County,, July 2013 - Danvers, MA
  • Co-presented Remapping Reputation: Virtue, Violence, and Victimhood - Attending to Early Modern Women Conference, July 2012 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • I Charged her to Spake the Truth: The Legal Role of the Colonial Midwife - Boston College Legal History Roundtable, February 2012 - Boston, MA
  • "'Always Ready and Willing to do for them what lay in her Power': The Legal Role of the Essex County Midwife" - Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty Research Series, February 2012 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • I Charged her to Spake the Truth: Midwives and Unwed Mothers in Essex County" - Early American History Seminar, December 2011 - Boston, MA
  • Chaired and commented on Domestic Politics - New England Historical Association Conference, October 2011 - Boston, MA
  • I Charged her to Spake the Truth: Midwives, Unwed Mothers and Paternity Support in Essex County - 17th Annual Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conference, June 2011 - New Paltz, New York
  • His Relations Being Great Men: Households and Sexual Crime in Essex County Massachusetts - British Group in Early American History Conference, September 2010 - Oxford University, England
  • Branching into the Classroom: Living History Away from the Museum - Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums Annual Meeting and Conference, June 2010 - Worcester, MA
  • I Made Fresh Pursuit after Him: Law, Order and Sexual Misconduct on the Maine Frontier - Early American Borderlands Conference, May 2010 - St. Augustine, Florida
  • He hath Absented Himself from Her: Saints and Strangers in Plymouth Colony - Early American History Conference, September 2008 - Manchester, England
  • The True Case Concerning Thomas Choat: The 1705 Declaration of Deborah Proctor - 14th Annual Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conference, June 2008 - Boston, MA
  • By Violence Abused or an Act of Uncleanness: The Fornication Trial of Elizabeth Sessions and Joseph Chandler - New England History Association Conference, May 2007 - Manchester, NH
  • "York County Under Siege" - History and Power Across American Borders Conference, November 2006 - Amherst, MA

Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Graduate Research Fellowship (2007), Fellowship - University of Maine
    Chandler, A.B.
  • Graduate Student Government Research Fellowships (2006), Fellowship - University of Maine
    Chandler, A.
  • Charles J. Dunn Dissertation Research Grant (2007), -
    Chandler, A.
  • John J. Nolde Lectureship in History (2007), - University of Maine History Department
    Chandler, A.
  • Phillips Library Research Fellow (2006), Fellowship - Peabody Essex Museum
    Chandler, A.