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Joshua Rothman in Conversation with Erin Greenwald 

Joshua Rothman in Conversation with Erin Greenwald 

Thursday, May 20, 6 p.m. CST

This event is free and open to the public. Register here to participate. 


Join the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and 64 Parishes Editor-in-Chief Erin Greenwald for a conversation with historian Joshua Rothman on his new book The Ledger and the Chain: How Domestic Slave Traders Shaped America (Basic Books, April 2021). 


In The Ledger and the Chain, Rothman recounts the devastating story of the domestic slave trade by tracing the lives and careers of Isaac Franklin, John Armfield, and Rice Ballard, who built the largest and most powerful slave-trading operation in American history. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with major operations in New Orleans and Natchez, Franklin, Armfield, and Ballard built an empire on the buying and selling of thousands of men, women, and childrenAlthough these men have largely slipped into obscurity, they were essential to American slavery’s expansion before the Civil War. Indeed, their work helped fuel the growth and prosperity of the United States itself. 


Joshua D. Rothman is professor of history and chair of the Department of History at the University of Alabama. He is the author of two previous books, Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Families across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861, and Flush Times and Fever Dreams: A Story of Capitalism and Slavery in the Age of Jackson. 


Erin M. Greenwald is vice president of public programs and editor-in-chief of 64 Parishes magazine at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Prior to joining the LEH, she served as curator of programs at the New Orleans Museum of Art and as senior curator and historian at the Historic New Orleans Collection, where she curated the award-winning exhibition Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865She holds a PhD in history from Ohio State University.