Conversations at the Washington Library is a weekly podcast about early American history and the people who teach it.

How Uncle Tom Came To Be

In this episode, Dr. Kevin C. Butterfield sits down with Washington Library research fellow Dr. Daniel Livesay to discuss his recent book, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833, as well as his new research topic about the treatment of elderly slaves in the Chesapeake region.

Daniel Livesay is Associate Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College (CA). His book, Children of Uncertain Fortune: Mixed-Race Jamaicans in Britain and the Atlantic Family, 1733-1833 (UNC Press, 2018), chronicles the lives of hundreds of individuals born in the Caribbean to white fathers and free, or enslaved, mothers of color, who eventually left to live with relatives in Britain. His research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the Institute of Historical Research in London, among others. Currently, he is completing a manuscript that analyzes life for elderly enslaved Virginians and Jamaicans, exploring how old workers were instrumental to the plantation culture and economy, as well as to broader cultural conceptions of slavery during the era of abolition.

 

Kevin C. Butterfield is the new Executive Director of the Washington Library. He comes to Mount Vernon from the University of Oklahoma, where he served as the Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Constitutional Studies Program, holding an appointment as the Wick Cary Professor and Associate Professor of Classics and Letters.

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