Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Kansas State University
Website URL
Bleeding Kansas, slavery, sectionalism, Civil War, abolition, emancipation, Fugitive Slave Law, John Brown/Harpers Ferry, the Secret Six, reform movements, western expansion, Upper South, Kansas, Missouri, early Kansas City, 19th century U.S.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of slavery, abolition, and sectionalism, particularly during the Bleeding Kansas conflict of the 1850s. Beginning in Summer 2020, I will be an associate professor at Kansas State University. I previously taught at Colorado State University-Pueblo and the University of Central Arkansas, just north of Little Rock. I am also the managing editor of Kansas History.

I have shared my work in various public forums in addition to presenting academic papers at local, regional, and national conferences, including the annual meetings of the Southern Historical Association and the Western History Association. My research has been supported by the Huntington Library, the Kansas Historical Society, the State Historical Society of Missouri, Colorado State University–Pueblo, and the University of Central Arkansas.

I earned my graduate degrees at The College of William and Mary and the University of Kansas; at KU, my dissertation won both the 2010 Marnie and Bill Argersinger Award for the best dissertation completed at the university and the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Department of History.


Recent Publications

My current project is a narrative history of Kansas that is accessible to general readers, co-authored with Jim Leiker. It is under contract with University Press of Kansas and is expected to appear in 2022.

My most recent publication is an article in Kansas History┬áin 2017 titled “The Kidnapping of Charley Fisher: Questioning the Legal Boundaries of Slavery in Bleeding Kansas.” It explores the little known story of a fugitive slave in Leavenworth, Charley Fisher, whose kidnapping, subsequent escape, and then arrest as a fugitive spawned a series of civil and criminal cases related to the Fugitive Slave Law.

My first book, published in 2016 by the University of Georgia Press, is Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras. It explores the rise and fall of chattel slavery in this region from the 1820s through the end of the Civil War, a system that emerged from small-scale, Upper South slaveholding culture.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
American Civil War, Emancipation, Local & Regional, Race, Rural & Agrarian History, Slavery