Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
California State University, Fullerton
Website URL
North America, Women, Slavery, Law, Death, Life History, Memory and Slavery
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Terri L. Snyder is Professor American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the history of gender, race, and the law in British North America and, more recently, on the memory of slavery in the modern U.S.

Snyder is the author of two books: Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia (Cornell University Press, 2003); and The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America (University of Chicago Press, 2015). She has published in the Journal of American History, the Law and History Review, and the William and Mary Quarterly and has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Virginia Historical Society.

Snyder is a member of the Council of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, serves on the Board of the Mary Maples Dunn Prize, and is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer.


Recent Publications


The Power to Die: Slavery and Suicide in British North America. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Winner: Frances Keller Richardson Sierra Prize, Western Association of Women Historians.

Brabbling Women: Disorderly Speech and the Law in Early Virginia. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003.


Women, Race, and the Law in Early America,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, ed. Jon Butler (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 1-30.

“Jane Webb and Her Family: Life Stories and the Law in Early Virginia,” in Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times, vol. 1 eds. Cynthia A. Kierner and Sandra Gioia Treadway (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015), 64-93.

“Refiguring Women in Early America,” William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser. (July 2012), 421-450.

“Marriage on the Margins: Free Wives, Enslaved Husbands, and the Law in the Early American South,” Law and History Review, vol. 30 (February, 2012), 141-172. A. Elizabeth Taylor Article Prize, Southern Association of Women Historians, 2013.

“Suicide, Slavery, and Memory in North America,” Journal of American History, vol. 97, no. 1 (June 2010), 39-62. Judith Lee Ridge Best Article Prize, Western Association of Women Historians, 2011.

“’To Seeke For Justice’: Mastery, Gender, and the Law in Early Virginia,” in Douglas Bradburn and John Coombs, eds., Early Modern Virginia: Reconsidering the Old Dominion (Charlottesville, 2011): 128-157.

“What Historians Talk About When They Talk About Suicide: The View From Early Modern British North America,” History Compass 5 (March 2007): 658-674.

[John G. Kolp, co-author] “Women and the Political Culture of Eighteenth-Century Virginia: Gender, Property, and Voting Rights,” in Bruce Mann and Christopher Tomlins, eds., The Many Legalities of Early America (Chapel Hill, 2001): 272-292.  Reprinted in Major Problems in American Women’s History: Documents and Essays, 5th ed., eds. Sharon Block, Ruth Alexander, and Mary Beth Norton (New York: Cengage Learning, 2014), 119-125.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
British North America
Expertise by Geography
North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
American Founding Era, Emancipation, Gender, Law, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, Sexuality, Slavery, Women