NEW YORK, NY – Sue Peabody, professor of History at WSU Vancouver, has been awarded a research fellowship by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History awards short-term fellowships to doctoral candidates, postdoctoral scholars, and independent sch
olars to conduct work in five archives in New York City.

Peabody is one of twenty Gilder Lehrman Fellows for the second half of 2008.

Peabody will conduct research in 2009 – 2010 at the New York Historical Society for her book project, “Free Soil: Slaves and the Law in the Atlantic World.”

The book traces the legal principle of “free soil” from the middle ages through the 19th century. This principle states that a slave who crosses into a particular territory becomes free.

The project builds on the research for her first book, “There Are No Slaves in France: The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime,” by tracing the movement of the idea outside France, to the wider Atlantic of Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Students in Peabody’s senior history seminar class at WSU Vancouver have contributed preliminary research to the project. In this course, each student is assigned a state in which to study the legal history of slavery or race.