Casey Schmitt F'17

Casey  Schmitt
Barra Postdoctoral Fellow
McNeil Center for Early American Studies
University of Pennsylvania

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2017
Doctoral Candidate
College of William & Mary
Bound among Nations: Labor Coercion in the Early-Seventeenth-Century Caribbean

Using English, French, and Spanish sources from Europe and the Caribbean, this project is a social history of the early-seventeenth-century Anglo- and Franco-Caribbean. It uncovers the origins of debates over who could be coerced to perform what kind of labor by focusing on transnational negotiations over escaped laborers and kidnapped subjects. The project also shows that European officials applied nascent theories of the law of nations to create a transnational legal system for controlling labor. This process was instrumental in creating the legal basis for race-based slavery essential to the Americas until the nineteenth century.