Bryan LaPointe

Alumni; Ph.D. 2023

Dissertation Title:
"Once Enslaved: Formerly Enslaved People and Antislavery Politics in Nineteenth-Century America"

Bryan LaPointe specializes in the political and social history of the 19th century United States, with a particular focus on slavery, antislavery, and emancipation. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton in May 2023. He also holds an M.A. in history from Princeton, and a B.A. with high honors in history from the University of Michigan.

His dissertation, “Once Enslaved: Formerly Enslaved People and Antislavery Politics in Nineteenth Century America,” traces the history of American antislavery politics, from the nation’s founding to the Civil War, with the politics of formerly and runaway enslaved people at its heart. It argues that their experiences and political activism were central to political abolitionism’s growth and development across the antebellum period. An essay exploring some of these themes received the Anthony E. Kaye Memorial Essay Award from the Society of Civil War Historians, the University of North Carolina Press, and Penn State University’s Richards Civil War Era Center. The published essay can be found in the March 2023 issue of the Journal of the Civil War Era.

Bryan is currently serving as a lecturer in Princeton’s history department, while also transforming his dissertation into a book manuscript. His other published work can be found in Slavery & Abolition and the Princeton & Slavery Project. 

Selected Publications

Degree Year
Year of Study
Area of Interest
African American
Foreign Relations
Intellectual History
Political History
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
19th Century
American South
North America
United States