Books on American History 

Firsthand America: A History of the United States 

St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1991; 7th ed., 2003), co-author.

The Birth of American Feminism: The Seneca Falls Convention

Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1995, co-editor.


Hidden Histories of Women in the New South

Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1994, co-editor.


Southern Women: Histories and Identities

Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1992, co-editor.


A College History of the United States

St. James, N.Y.: Brandywine Press, 1992, co-author.

Awards and Honors
*Catherine Munson Foster Memorial Award for Literature, 2014

* B.K. Smith Lecturer in History, University of St. Thomas, 2011

* Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Award for Scholarship and Academic Achievement, 2003

* Texas Historical Commission Award, Best Local History Publication, for Ima Hogg: The Governor's Daughter, 1984

* Woodrow Wilson Fellow, 1960-61

* Phi Beta Kappa, 1959


  • B.A., Rice, 1959 

  • M.A.University of Pennsylvania, 1961

  • Ph.D., Rice, 1971

  • Professor Emerita of History at the University of St. Thomas



Born in Austin, Texas, she grew up in Houston, attending Lanier Junior High School, San Jacinto High School, and Rice University. After graduate work in American studies and history at the University of Pennsylvania she returned to Houston and earned a Ph.D. in history at Rice. She taught history at the University of St. Thomas for 35 years. She lives in Houston, Texas, is married to Jim Bernhard, actor/writer, and they have three grown children. ​

Virginia Bernhard