Benjamin Scharff
Chair, Thomas B. Hagen Department of History, Associate Professor
Preston 118

Dr. Scharff is currently working on publishing his dissertation entitled “Busy Mischievous Fellows”: Imperial Agency in Pennsylvania During the Seven Years’ War, which examines the interaction of Pennsylvanians and British agents of authority in the colony in the mid-eighteenth century.  His teaching and research interests include colonial America, the early British Empire, and Native Americans.  He also works closely on public history projects with students and local organizations, including the Fort Leboeuf Historical Society and the Flagship Niagara League.  He is authoring a series of articles with the Flagship Niagara League touching on the collaboration between that organization and the university. He serves as the Vice President of the Pennsylvania Historical Association.


  • Ph.D., History, West Virginia University, 2014
  • M.A., History, Slippery Rock University, 2006
  • B.A., History, Wake Forest University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • US History I
  • Western Civilization II
  • Colonial America
  • Revolutionary America
  • Early Republican America
  • Native North America
  • British Empire
  • Introduction to Museum Studies
  • Historic Preservation

Selected Publications

  • Busy Mischievous Fellows: Imperial Agency in Pennsylvania During the Seven Years’ War.  (Under contract).
  • You are Here, We are Here: A Portrait of Erie’s Historic East Side.  Erie Insurance.  2016.
  • Skulking in the Woods: Irregular Warfare in Pennslvania During the Seven Years' War,  Heritage Books.  2014.
  • “Great Uncertainty:  Pennsylvania’s Defensive Measures in 1756.”  Cumberland County Historical Journal.  Fall 2008.
  • “A Great Scarcity of Arms: Arming the Forbes Expedition to the Ohio.”  Cumberland County Historical Journal.  Spring 2007.
  • “A Feat of Arms: The Small Arms of the Forbes Expedition, 1758.”  Old Stone House Review: A Journal of History and Folklore.  Spring 2006.
  • Book reviews (5) for Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, (2) for West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies, (1) for Journal of American Ethnic History, (1) for Journal of Southern History, and (1) for Reviews in American History.