Kimberly Welch F'19

Kimberly  Welch
Assistant Professor
History and Law
Vanderbilt University
last updated: 9/14/2019

ACLS Fellowship Program 2019
ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow

Assistant Professor
History and Law
Vanderbilt University
Lending and Borrowing Across the Color Line in the Antebellum American South

This project reconstructs the world of black moneylenders in the antebellum US South in order to explore categories of property, commerce, citizenship, and rights. It demonstrates that free—and sometimes enslaved—black Americans were more than just property and labor in the southern economy; they were also essential arteries for capital, extending loans—large and small—to both whites and blacks. As sources and managers of capital, black people were important drivers of their local economies and the larger credit system in the nineteenth-century US South. These relationships of debt and obligation speak to important issues related to the development of market capitalism and to the relationship between race and economic citizenship.