Ph.D. History, University of Chicago, 2009

Current Academic Affiliation

Honors College, Oregon State University

Areas of Specialization 

Social & Cultural History of the United States to 1900
The Atlantic World & Comparative Slavery
Civil War & Reconstruction
Slavery & Emancipation
Biography & History
Fiction & History

Selected Publications 


The Life and Death of Gus Reed: A Story of Race and Justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction (Ohio University Press, 2014).

Editor, The Story of My Campaign: The Civil War Memoir of Captain Francis T. Moore, Second Illinois Cavalry (Northern Illinois University Press, 2011).


“‘I Would Not Have a White Upon the Premises’: The Ohio Valley Salt Industry and Slave Hiring in Illinois, 1780-1825,” Ohio Valley History 15 (2) Summer 2015: 49-69.

“‘Our Cause is a Common One’: Home Guards, Union Leagues, and Republican Citizenship in Illinois, 1861-1863,” Civil War History 56 (1) March 2010: 66-98.

“‘I never wood git tired of wrighting to you’: Home and Family in the Civil War Letters of Joseph and Currency Van Nattan,” Journal of Illinois History 12 (2) Summer 2009: 129-154.

“The Common Dust of Potter’s Field: New York City and its Bodies Politic, 1800-1860.” Common-place: The Interactive Journal of Early American Life 6 (4) July 2006.

Selected Panels & Presentations

"Civil Liberties and Citizenship: The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments," panel for Oregon State University's Constitution Day, September 17, 2015. Video of talk here.

“Between Slavery and Freedom: Illinois as Slaveholding Borderland,” (paper presentation) and panel organizer for “New Directions in the Study of Slavery and Anti-Slavery in Illinois.” Conference on Illinois History, Springfield, Illinois, 30 September 2011.

“‘Neither Historian Nor Novelist’: Captain Francis Moore and the Making of Civil War Memory.” Public lecture in Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series at San Diego State University Library, San Diego, California, 20 April 2011.

“Slavery in a Free State: Slaves, Masters, and Labor in Early Illinois.” Presented to Black Metropolis Research Consortium, Chicago, Illinois, 27 August 2010.

“Roughs White and Black: Race and Criminality in Post-Emancipation Illinois.” Great Lakes History Conference, ‘The History of Racism, Slavery, and its Aftermath,’ Grand Rapids, Michigan, 26-27 October 2007.

“Rethinking Black Migration and Black Communities in the Midwest: Springfield, Illinois, 1850-1880.” Conference on Illinois History, Springfield, Illinois, 13 October 2006.

Selected Awards & Honors

2015 Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois State Historical Society for The Life and Death of Gus Reed: A Story of Race and Justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction

2011 Filson Historical Society Research Fellowship, Louisville, Kentucky

2010 Littleton-Griswold Research Grant, American Historical Association

2010 Black Metropolis Research Consortium Short-Term Research Fellowship in African American Studies, Chicago, Illinois

2006-2007 Martin Dissertation Research Grant, Chicago Union League Civic & Arts Foundation

2006-2007 King V. Hostick Dissertation Research Award, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

2002-2003 Andrew W. Mellon First-Year Graduate Fellow in the Humanistic Studies, Woodrow Wilson Foundation