This interview focuses on the ways that the Revolutionary War made an impact on American slavery. Issues such as Dunmore's Proclamation offering freedom to slaves for service to the King and John Laurens proposal to enlist and arm 3,000 slaves for the American cause are discussed. Additional topics include: the service of free blacks and slaves in the Continental Army; the disruption of slavery caused by the War; and the effect of that disruption on the institution of slavery. How the Congress of the Confederation and the Constitutional Convention of 1787 dealt with slavery close the discussion.
James H. Hershman Jr.
James H. Hershman, Jr., served as a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University's Government Affairs Institute from 1997 until his retirement in 2010. From 1995 to 1997, he served on the senior staff at the Brookings Institution. Before going to Brookings, he served as an instructor on congressional affairs for the federal government and earlier in his career held teaching positions at Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia. His Ph.D. in Southern History is from the University of Virginia. He contributed an essay to The Moderates' Dilemma: Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia and his articles and reviews have appeared in Journal of Southern History, Journal of Negro Education, and other journals and online publications. He continues to teach in Georgetown's Graduate Liberal Studies program.