Thanks for visiting my page! I’m Kari Miller, and I published this site for anyone interested in Jane Goodwin Austin. I’m currently working on a biography of Jane, but in the meantime, this site will serve to correct some of the misconceptions about her work. Older biographies and certainly her Wikipedia page promote several inaccuracies.
During this 10-year labor of love, I’ve researched at the Houghton Library at Harvard, the American Antiquarian Society, the New York Public Library, the Boston Public Library, the Concord Free Public Library, the University of Virginia, Pilgrim Hall, the Mayflower Society, and the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, and other archives, in addition to obtaining scans of archival materials from all over the country. Archivists and librarians are my heroes! Google Books, HathiTrust, Archive.org and other digitized book services, as well as innumerable databases of nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines, have also made this research project possible. It would have taken a lifetime of fully-funded research to find all of this otherwise.
In addition to my dissertation, I’ve written about Jane in the Community College Humanities Journal as well as the Mayflower Journal, and I’ve presented on her at various conferences as well as at the Mayflower Society in Plymouth and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House in Concord.
Because Jane G. Austin is something of a “hidden figure” and no one has ever done extensive biographical research on her before, though, I am still actively collecting information about her life. If you are here because you know something about Jane, I would love to know about it! You can reach me at khmiller614 at gmail.
I’m a native Floridian, but I have been captivated by New England since my first visit in 1986, when I insisted that my family visit Concord so I could lay flowers on Louisa May Alcott’s grave and tour Orchard House. The second highlight of that trip was visiting Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II and being teased by “Pilgrims.” Later, I even married a native New Englander, but one who relocated to the South for warmer weather. We live in Georgia where I teach composition, American literature, and creative writing at Perimeter College.
In 2010, I participated in National Endowment for the Arts/Community College Humanities workshop for college faculty in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As part of my research for the project, I uncovered the story of Jane Goodwin Austin, and I spent the next five years researching her life and works as part of my PhD program. I defended my dissertation on her in 2015, and it’s now my mission to ensure that she gets the public recognition she deserves.