History Professor Writes Revealing History of Ste. Genevieve

Photo of Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff

Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff, professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University, here holding her recently published a book entitled From French Community to Missouri Town: Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century.(View larger image of Dr. Stepenoff)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.

Aug. 24, 2006 – Dr. Bonnie Stepenoff, professor of history at Southeast Missouri State University, has recently published a book entitled From French Community to Missouri Town: Ste. Genevieve in the Nineteenth Century.

In the book published by the University of Missouri Press, Stepenoff writes about Ste. Genevieve’s struggle to become American after its official inclusion in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. French and Spanish residents (later joined by German immigrants and American settlers) were forced to compromise on issues such as education, religion, property laws and women’s rights in order to cement the town’s democracy.

Picking up where other studies of Ste. Genevieve leave off, Stepenoff searched through the town’s archives for previously untold stories that reflected how Americanization affected the citizens’ lives. After examining the town’s historical circumstances, its legal institutions and its popular customs, Stepenoff shows how Ste. Genevieve differed from other towns along the Mississippi River.

Stepenoff is also the author of Thad Snow: A Life of Social Reform in the Missouri Bootheel and Their Father’s Daughters: Silk Mill Workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1880-1960. For more information about purchasing From French Community to Missouri Town, contact the University of Missouri Press at 1 (800) 828-1894 or visit http://www.umsystem.edu/upress/.