Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor
Other History | United States History
“A Papered Freedom” is a systematic study of how enslaved and self-emancipated African Americans engaged with compensated manumission to become legally free. To do this, I address fundamental issues related to compensated manumission within the United States from the founding era to the fugitive slave crisis of the 1850s. The project works to give voice to the concerns and problems that African Americans faced in their attempts to buy freedom by analyzing how they interacted with different kinds of networks, both social and economic, in the interest of liberation. By accruing different kinds of capital within these networks, African Americans who paid for freedom worked to reject the very economic and social thought that worked to keep them enslaved. The project also looks at how African Americans connected with the abolition movement worked to theorize compensated manumission and legal freedom within the broader movement.
Bernier, Julia, "A Papered Freedom: Self-Purchase and Compensated Manumission in the Antebellum United States" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations. 934.
Available for download on Thursday, May 12, 2022