Friday, July 12, 2013

Spotlighting Jessica Millward

I know this post is a little different than you are used to seeing here, but I felt strongly about my readers meeting Jessica.

Jessica Millward is an Assistant Professor of History at University of California Irvine. Her fields of interest are African American, African Diaspora, Early America, Gender, Slavery.  You can learn more by reading her faculty profile.

To her credit, Dr. Millward has had several papers published and there is one in particular that I am excited about; Charity Folks, Lost Royalty and the Bishop Family of Maryland and New York  recently published in The Journal of African American History. You can read it here.

One of my favorite and most popular "lost family treasures" was the Bishop/Carey Photo album. Charity Folks was an ancestor of Dr. Elizabeth "Beth" Bishop Davis. We believe that Dr. Davis's brother, Shelton Hale Bishop Jr. was the original owner of that album. Charity Folks was the matriarch of such an influential and productive group of descendants that I feel very privileged to have had a piece of their history in my hands.

What is even more exciting is that the above mentioned article is just a taste of Jessica's upcoming book,  Charity’s Folk: Enslaved Women, Families, and Freedom in pre Civil War Maryland. In her words:
"The book focuses on attempts made by enslaved women in
Maryland to earn their freedom in the decades following the American Revolution.  Women such as the Bishop ancestor, Charity Folks, were crucial to this story. We can learn so much from their experiences as enslaved women were the least likely to experience some of the promises of the American Revolution like liberty and equality."

Well I, for one am looking forward to this book.

 Leslie Ann

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