My Discussion with a UMW Historian

It took me a while to get this up, but I set up a meeting with Dr. Ferrell. At first for my paper I was interested in doing something regarding the Enlightenment era, but after going to a couple of my history of the American South classes, I’ve taken an interest in early slavery. When I went to talk with Dr. Ferrell, I was thinking about basing my paper on the changing status of blacks in the early colonial years. I wanted to use the life of Anthony Johnson as an example. Before I went to talk with her however, I realized that there is little to no information that can be found on Anthony Johnson. Johnson was a black who earned over 250 acres for himself, but little is known as to how he accomplished this or how he was viewed in society because his life was lived 400 years ago and little records were kept of him. Meeting with Dr. Ferrell made me see that my potential topic was not concentrated as much as it should be, and it could go in many directions. She gave me the suggestion of comparing the views of slavery from one decade to the next. I really liked her ideas. Now what I’m looking into are some leading abolitionists, Olaudah Equiano and David Walker, and their different thoughts and approaches to the issue of slavery. This subject will still be about slavery, which I’m interested in, but it will give me more of a focused subject.

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