Professor Nichols received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky. He joined the faculty at Indiana State University in 2004.
His specialty is early America, with a particular interest in Native American history during the Revolutionary and early national era. He is the author of Red Gentlemen & White Savages: Indians, Federalists, and the Search for Order on the Early American Frontier (University of Virginia Press, 2008), Engines of Diplomacy: Indian Trading Factories and the Negotiation of American Empire (University of North Carolina Press, 2016), and Peoples of the Inland Sea: Natives Americans and Newcomers in the Great Lakes Region (Ohio University Press, 2018). He is currently working on a study of economic change among the Chickasaws.