Monday, November 28, 2016

In Print in Ohio Valley History

Back during my latest dry spell of posts here on "Random Thoughts" (October) I was honored to receive several complimentary copies of the Ohio Valley History journal's (Vol. 16, No. 3 - Fall 2016) issue that my article, "Telling Testimony: Slavery Advertisements in Kentucky's Civil War Newspapers" appeared in.

This project began as a twelve-page paper for the Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which I presented back in November 2013. I had presented at this conference in 2012 on Kentuckians' reactions to John Brown's raid and had received some nice feedback. The John Brown paper was later selected for publishing in A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage in the Civil War (Transaction Publishers, 2014), so I though I'd try again on a different topic and see if a similar positive outcome resulted.

While researching the John Brown paper I often became distracted by the diverse advertisements in newspaper sources. Doing so developed my curiosity and caused me to question how slavery advertisements changed over the course of the Civil War in Kentucky.

The time spent researching the various slavery advertisements in Kentucky's Civil War newspapers amounted to countless hours spent in front of microfilm machines at various repositories across the Commonwealth. Then the many hours developing and populating the databases for cataloging the owner posted runaway ads and the jailer posted captured runaway ads, as well as the writing and revising of the paper made me wonder more than once if it all would be worth it. Well, the paper ended up being awarded at the conference, so obviously I was pleased.

In 2014, I submitted the paper for inclusion at a conference being held a the Filson Historical Society in Louisville. I admittedly was a little disappointed that it was not accepted. However, it was not much longer after that that I was contacted by the editor of Ohio Valley History, who is affiliated with the Filson. She explained in her email that she found my research topic intriguing and wondered if I might perhaps be able to expand the study and develop a strengthened argument for potential consideration in an special issue on emancipation the journal was anticipating publishing.

Fortunately, I had kept my thorough notes and the databases that I had developed. These helped me add significantly to the orthogonal conference paper. Then with constructive criticism from a couple of anonymous peer review readers, as well as grammatical help from the editors, the paper was accepted and included in the fall 2016 issue, the cover image of which is shown below. I must say that I am very pleased with the final product and the experience was one that I feel with benefit me in the future.

If anyone has access the article, I would be interested in your thoughts about it.

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