First off happy Constitution Day! Second, I'm delighted to announce that Rebecca J. Scott, the Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, will deliver the Hutchins Lecture here in Chapel Hill on October 14 at 4:30 in the Wilson Library. Cribbing now from the UNC Center for the Study of the American South's press release:
Professor Scott will talk about the research that went into the writing of her recent book (coauthored with Jean M. Hébrard) Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation (Harvard UP, 2012; paperback, August 2014), which traces one family’s interaction with law and official documents across five generations. The story begins in West Africa with the enslavement of a woman named Rosalie, then follows her to the French Caribbean at the time of the Haitian Revolution. Rosalie’s daughter Elisabeth later settled in Louisiana, but in the face of hostility to free persons of color, the family migrated to France. Two of Elisabeth’s sons then returned to Louisiana to become equal-rights activists during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Piecing together this family’s history helps to place Reconstruction in the southern United States into a transnational perspective, with threads continuing into 20th-century Europe. This lecture will be held at the Pleasants Room in UNC’s Wilson Library.
I know one person (who gave a Hutchins lecture a while back on constitutional ideas in circulation in Chapel Hill before the Civil War) who's very excited and is going to be there! This will be a terrific event and I hope that if you're in the triangle you'll take it in.