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History Lecture: “Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson,”

The UT History Department will host Christina Snyder for a lecture titled “Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson,” which is based on her new book. The address is part of the annual Charles O. Jackson Memorial Lecture Series.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 5 p.m. in Room 103 of the UT Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Snyder is the McCabe Greer Professor of the History of the American Civil War Era at Penn State University. Her lecture will examine how United States imperialism during the era of Indian Removal reshaped the geography of the freedom—or lack, thereof—of certain Americans and how it brought conflicting ideologies of race and slavery into contact with one another. The talk also will explore the strategies that people of color developed to navigate the shifting landscape.

Snyder’s book uses as a case study Great Crossings, an experimental community in Kentucky where America’s diverse peoples intersected and shared new visions of the continent’s future. The town got its name the previous century, when bison habitually crossed Elkhorn Creek at that shallow spot. By the 19th century, the bison had disappeared, but Great Crossings became a different kind of meeting ground, home to the first federal Indian school and a famous interracial family.

Snyder is a historian of colonialism, race, and slavery, with a focus on North America from before indigenous peoples’ contact with an outside culture through the 19th century. Her first book, Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America, was published by Harvard University Press in 2010 and earned numerous accolades. Her latest book Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson was released by Oxford University Press this year. Snyder’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR and in Slate.

The Charles O. Jackson Memorial Lecture Series honors the career of the late Charles O. Jackson, a scholar of American culture and society whose wide-ranging works explored American ideas about death and sexual deviance, food and drug legislation, and the social and military history of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Jackson was an esteemed member of UT’s history department from 1969 to 1997.


Julie Reed (865- 974-7078,



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