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John Garrison Marks

PhD Candidate

Email: jgm4 []


  • M.A. Rice University, 2012
  • B.A. Lynchburg College, 2010

Fields of Study 

  • U.S. South
  • Latin America
  • 19th Century United States

Research Interests

am interested in the history of race and slavery in the Atlantic World in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In my dissertation, I explore how a juxtaposition of white racial ideology, and the responses free people of color, can transform our understanding of the cultural importance of race in different national and imperial contexts in the Americas and Atlantic World. Through a local investigation of free people of color in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, and Charleston, South Carolina, I analyze the ways that free people of color engaged in an Atlantic discourse on race, virtue, and respectability, and how they contributed to the development of a "pan-American" protest strategy throughout the black urban Atlantic World.

Presentations and Publications

  • "Community Bonds in the Bayou City:  Free Blacks and Local Reputation in Early Houston,” forthcoming, Southwestern Historical Quarterly 
  • "Legislating Proslavery Ideology: The Texas Self-Enslavement Law of 1858,” panel Manipulating Freedom: Liberty, Enslavement, and the Quest for Power in the Southwestern Borderlands, Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, January 5, 2013
  • October 2011: "Honesty, Industry and integrity: Free Blacks in Harris County, Texas, 1838-1863,"  Phi Alpha Theta--American Panel, Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Curriculum Vitae

 Recent CV