The Tragedy of William Freeman: A Story of Prison Labor, Mass Murder, and Slavery in the North

History/African American Studies/American Studies

“The Tragedy of William Freeman” will be narrative history of a mass murder that occurred in 1846 just outside of Auburn, New York.

Tasks may include database research (especially in 19th-century newspapers), assorted historical research online, and in Harvard archives. The student may also work on getting permission to print images.

The student will benefit the project by locating information and discovering answers to questions. This work will enable me to focus on other forms of research that only I can complete. The student will learn about 19th-century US history with a focus on prisons, African American history, and slavery, while gaining experience in online and archival research.

The student should have some experience with historical research. An interest in African American history, the 19th century, and/or the prison industry is preferable.