Nineteenth Century United States (Caleb McDaniel); U.S. South (Randal Hall); Atlantic World (Jim Sidbury)
My dissertation research focuses on slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction in the United States. Specifically, I study how migration and mobility informed freedpeople's definitions of freedom. For formerly enslaved people, mobility both within and out of the United States between 1865 and 1890 was central to ideas of citizenship, national belonging, and racial consciousness, and these ideas, in turn, built on histories of forced migration (the domestic slave trade) and the liberating movements of those who fled slavery by migrating to free states. Through my research I demonstrate that mobility was central to definitions of slavery and freedom.