Department of History

Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz

Bonnie Laughlin-SchultzBonnie Lauglin-Schultz won a Reahard Fellowship from the History Department to support her dissertation research.

Bonnie specializes in nineteenth-century America and women's history under advisor Dr. Wendy Gamber. Her dissertation is focused on the women in abolitionist John Brown's family, particularly his second wife Mary and his four daughters. She is exploring their involvement in antislavery work in the years leading up to Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, their continued ties to the abolitionist community in the years that followed, how they remembered Brown and worked to preserve his memory, and how they figured in the broader Reconstruction and Gilded Age American memory.

According to Bonnie, she hopes "to not only uncover and analyze the lives of a fascinating set of women but to think about how women responded to Brown's violence, how recent interpretations of Brown as an egalitarian icon square with his relationships to female abolitionists such as Harriet Tubman and Lydia Maria Child, and, most broadly, how one-time abolitionists operated in Reconstruction and Gilded Age America. With money I received from the department this spring, I can make a lot of headway on my research in the coming months: I recently spent a week at the Hudson Historical Society, and I will be going to the Omaha Public Library in June, to Columbia University and the New York Public Library for several weeks in July, and to the Kansas State Historical Society, Cornell's antislavery archives, and the Boston Public Library in August."