Michael Groth

Professor of History
Frances Tarlton Farenthold Presidential Professor

History Minor Coordinator

Macmillan 103

Michael E. Groth

"Wells is an amazing place to teach as well as to learn. Faculty members expect much from their students, but students in turn demand much from their faculty. Small classes allow students to do intensive critical reading, engage in intellectually rigorous class discussion, and conduct intensive original research and writing."

Professor Groth's interests lie in general U.S. history, African American history, and New York State history. In addition, he performs research in race, ethnicity, and immigration studies. For him, history is not the rote memorization of facts and dates, but the critical interpretation of evidence to compose a compelling narrative that gives meaning to the human experience. According to Professor Groth, history is vital to a sense of personal and collective identity. He believes that we must attempt to interpret the past if we are to understand where we are and where we are going.


1987 B.A. Williams College
1989 M.A. Binghamton University
1994 Ph.D. Binghamton University

Select Publications

Groth, M., "Laboring for Freedom in Dutchess County" in M. Armstead, ed. Mighty Change, Tall Within: Black Identity in the Hudson Valley. SUNY Press, 2003.

Groth, M. "Slaveholders and Manumission in Dutchess County." New York History 78:1 (1997): 33-50.

Groth, M. "The Struggle to Build a Free African-American Community in Dutchess County, 1790-1820." The Hudson Valley Regional Review, 14:2 (1997): 24-34.

Courses Taught

  • Interpreting U.S. History I & II
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • Topics in U.S. Social History
  • African Americans in the Age of Slavery
  • African American Struggle for Human Rights
  • Twentieth-Century America
  • The Decade