unnamed2I grew up in central Arizona in the small city of Prescott and on a cattle ranch in the Kirkland Valley. When I graduated from high school, wanting to try my wings in a larger setting, I persuaded my parents to let me, in addition to being the first person in my family to go to college, attend college in another state. I earned an undergraduate degree in American history and a master’s degree in American Constitutional History from the University of Washington in Seattle. Then I went to law school at the University of Chicago.
When I graduated from law school I took a two year contract at the State University of New York at Albany teaching environmental law and environmental ethics in the Business School.  I was one of the creators of the earliest team-taught course in environmental impact assessment as part of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program. Then I went to teach law school at the University of Pittsburgh for three years. I returned to Albany and spent the decade of the ‘90s creating and running a not-for-profit foundation, the New York Land Institute, which specialized in consensus building on controversial land issues. Since then I have practiced law in every setting except a large firm: solo practitioner, member of a two person specialty firm, and partner in a small to medium sized law firm. I also served five years as the economic development director and director of planning for a small upstate New York municipality.
I come by my love of history legitimately. On my father’s side of my family, my ancestors came to the “New World” in the middle of the 17th century. They came, respectively, to a small village in Quebec (Nicolet) and a Tidewater plantation in Virginia. My Canadian great-great grandfather migrated across the United States to California in the 1850s with his orphaned children, after surviving an exciting shipwreck off the coast of Baja California on his initial visit to California. His son, my great-grandfather, came to Arizona in 1873. The Nichols ancestors migrated from Tidewater Virginia to the Blue Ridge to Tennessee to Arkansas to Texas and finally in the 1870s to Tempe in the Valley of the Sun in Arizona.
My mother’s mother and father were part of a great migration in the early 20th century from Europe to the United States. They came in 1915 from Norway, moving through Ellis Island to Wisconsin to Idaho and then to Tacoma, Washington. My father was training as part of his service in the Navy during World War II and met my mother at Sand Point, Idaho. They married when the war ended and moved to Arizona.
I live in upstate New York in a small city (Watervliet) where the Erie Canal began. Watervliet was also the furthest upriver that Henry Hudson came on his initial exploration. The Cohoes Falls blocked the explorers from further travel upriver.
I am co-authoring a two book series for Calkins Creek, a Boyds Mills Press imprint. The series is called “Hidden History”. The first book in the series, “Rory’s Promise”, was published in September 2014. The second book, “Freedom’s Price”, is about Dred Scott’s daughters in 1849 in St. Louis. 1849 was a terrible year for St. Louis. It had a cholera epidemic and a major fire just as Dred Scott’s family was seeking their freedom from slavery.
In addition, as a solo author I am just finishing the first book in a series on how the Civil War affects an upstate New York family. In this first book, members of the family are stolen into slavery in New Orleans in the days just before the Civil War begins. The book concerns the family’s efforts to rescue their relatives.
I am also doing the research on the destruction of the culture of the Plains Indians in the 1860s and 1870s, culminating in the Battle at the Little Big Horn. I intend also to cover the early days of the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pa.

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I would love to hear from you. Email me at rosemarygailnichols@gmail.com