Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of California, Berkeley
Website URL
African-American, American Slavery, Slavery and the Law, Southern Women, Women and Early American Law
Additional Contact Information
She is available to discuss early and 19th century African American history, white slave-owning women, the history of American slavery, American slavery and the law, and women and early American law.

Personal Info

About Me

Stephanie Jones-Rogers is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley where she specializes in African-American history, women’s history, and the history of American slavery. She is equally fascinated with colonial and 19th-century legal and economic history, especially as it pertains to women, systems of bondage, and the domestic slave trade. She is the author of several publications, the most recent of which appeared in the April 2017 issue of Slavery and Abolition.

Her first book They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South (Yale University Press, 2019) is a regional study that draws upon formerly enslaved people’s testimony to dramatically reshape current understandings of white women’s economic relationships to slavery and how these women’s economic choices impacted the lives of the enslaved people they owned. The book is based on her revised dissertation, which won the Organization of American Historians’ 2013 Lerner-Scott Prize for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history. They Were Her Property puts narrative sources, legal documents, and financial records into conversation with each other in order to show how white women’s investments in the institution shaped their gender identities and to situate them firmly at the center of 19th century America’s most significant and devastating system of economic exchange.

With generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Jones-Rogers is completing her second project, which is a national, comprehensive study of women, American slavery, and the law from settlement to emancipation.

Recent Publications


 They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South (Yale University Press, February 2019)

Essays in Edited Collections 

“Rethinking Sexual Violence and the Marketplace of Slavery: White Women, the Slave Market and Enslaved People’s Sexualized Bodies in the Nineteenth-Century South,” in Sexuality and Slavery: Reclaiming Intimate Histories in the Americas eds. Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2018), 109-123.

“Mistresses in the Making: White Girls, Mastery and the Practice of Slaveownership in the Nineteenth-Century South,” in Women’s America, Volume 8: Refocusing the Past. Eds. Linda Kerber, Jane Sherron De Hart, Cornelia Hughes Dayton, and Judy Wu (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Journal Article

“‘[S]he could…spare one ample breast for the profit of her owner’: White Mothers and Enslaved Wet Nurses’ Invisible Labor in American Slave Markets.” Slavery and Abolition 38, No. 2 (April 2017): 337-355.

Book Reviews

Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017), in Journal of African-American History 103, No. 3 (Summer 2018): 448-451.

Calvin Schermerhorn, The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2015), in Journal of Southern History 82, No. 2 (May 2016): 411-412.

Web-Based Publications

“White Women and the Economy of Slavery.” Not Even Past, February 1, 2019,

“Police shootings: How many more must perish before we see justice?” The Berkeley Blog, July 27, 2017,

“Another Side to the Tubman Twenty,” The Berkeley Blog, April 26, 2016,

“A Thousand Words, Countless Silences and the Audacity of Black Love,” The Berkeley Blog, March 31, 2016,

“The Charleston Massacre: What is the Meaning of Black Life in America?” The Berkeley Blog, July 13, 2015,

“Rachel Dolezal’s ‘Deception’: What We Don’t Want to Know about Racial Identity in America,” The Berkeley Blog, June 29, 2015,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
Emancipation, Race, Sexual Violence, Slavery, Women