Brooks Henne

By William & Mary

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The Catholic Church's Response to Slavery in Civil War Era Virginia 

The issue of slavery split the United States along regional lines, and in so doing, also split families and churches apart. My project will investigate how the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia responded to issues of slavery and race during the Civil War Era. I plan on examining primary source materials available in archives in Richmond, particularly the Museum of Virginia Catholic History, the Library of Virginia, and the Virginia Historical Society. I will also examine a number of secondary sources related to religion in 19th century America, Catholicism, slavery, and African American spirituality. My research will further illuminate the role of the Catholic Church in nineteenth century American discourses on race and slavery.

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