Abigail Scott

a woman posed in a white shirt smiling at the camera
  • Graduate Assistant for the Western History Organization

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 2001


Abigail received two bachelor's degrees from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette: one in History and the other in French. She returned to her alma mater, where she got her master's in History. In her M.A. thesis, Save a Place for Me: Natchitoches, Nacogdoches, and the Sabine Strip, 1803-1833, she argued the Louisiana-Texas borderlands remained unruly until Texas's incorporation into the United States. This perceived lawlessness arose from the region's geopolitics as Natchitoches, Louisiana, and Nacogdoches, Texas, fostered close familial and economic ties during the 18th century. The Sabine Strip's populace did not sever these ties after the United States obtained Louisiana. If anything, these relationships encouraged Anglo-American settlement in Texas.

Abigail explores the relationship between memory, policy, and empire at the University of Kansas. Her dissertation, French Imperial Memory and the American West, 1763-1830, examines how France remembered its colonial possessions in the United States. She argues there was no disconnect between France's empires in North America and Africa. French officials used the narratives of "coexistence" with Native Americans to justify their expansion into Algeria. She teases these threads using missionary records, novels, and government documents. The popularity of books by René-François Chateaubriand and James Fenimore Cooper only highlights French obsession with imaginary "Indian" characters. In this dissertation, policy and popular culture are mutually reinforced, thus creating the space for discussions about French colonialism's "exceptionalism."

Advised by Dr. Andrew C. Isenberg and Dr. Elaine Nelson 


Selected Presentations

"Motherly Intentions: Potawatomi Cultural Integrity and the Virgin Mary,” Western History Association, Los Angeles, California, October 26, 2023.

“French Imperial Imagination and the American West” Western History Association, Los Angeles, California, October 27, 2023. 

"Bouki et Lapin ont Ouvert L'Ouest," Louisiana Historical Association, Zoom, January 2021.