I know that some of you already know who I am and are already familiar with my research, but I'm sure there will be some new folks coming around, so I want to start off telling you a little about me, who I am, and what my research is. Then I want to talk about the purpose of this blog and what I hope to accomplish. Please note that all posts are copyrighted. I'm in the process of publishing some information and hope to get a book published about this project once I finally finish school. Feel free to print off a copy for yourself and whatnot, but if you want to repost something elsewhere, ask for my permission first please :o).
My name is Erin Bradford and I currently live in
I started college at
So, now that you know the basics of me, here is some info about the project.
I began this project at NCSU in spring 2000 with a seminar on World Slavery, taught by Professor John David Smith (now at UNC-Charlotte), whose specialty is slavery and emancipation. For that class, we only had one grade: a term paper on any aspect of slavery, any where in the world. Since my interest was U.S. slavery, and I had just finished Dr. John Hope Franklin's The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860, I decided to write on the manumission practices of colonial North Carolina. During the process of writing that paper, I found manumission papers for quite a few families, and also mention of manumission papers for other families who were freed outside of NC thanks to Paul Heinegg's research, which encompasses not only NC, but also SC, VA, MD, and DE (and I'm probably leaving another state out). I fell in love with one particular family and I became hooked! I've had to put my research on the backburner for the last year and until I finish school. Between a full time job and full time school, I just have no more time to do any research, but if everything goes according to plan, I'll be back in action in about a year!
I'm hoping to accomplish a few things with this blog.
- First, I want to help educate those who are not aware of the free Black population in antebellum NC. This group is continually overlooked, not only in NC, but in other states as well, and I want to do something to help bring them to light.
- I want to discuss various types of records, which have been useful in my search. Most state records are different from state to state, but also there are similarities. I plan to present the benefits of various records for searching that might prove beneficial.
- I hope to highlight various free Blacks that I'm researching with mini-biographies about them. With the exception of a few very well known ones such as John Chavis and Thomas Day, these biographies will mostly consist of dates, spouses, children, and what records I have found them in.
Thanks all for stopping by my neck of the woods!