University of Arizona, B.A., History, 2007; University of Maryland, M.A., History, 2009.
“The British are Coming, Again: Loyalists, Property Confiscation, and Reintegration in the Mid-Atlantic in Revolution and Peace, 1777-1800"
My dissertation explores the complex nature of loyalty through records of property confiscation and how this process of confiscation aided in the making of a body of American citizens in the mid-Atlantic. Property confiscation legislation, the action and process of confiscation, and the sale of the property became absolutely crucial to the understanding of citizenship during this period. Patriots effectively began to define who was part of the new America as well through confiscation. The seizure and sale of loyalist property, then, became a way to determine loyalty to the war and thereby determine who was a citizen. This, however, was not a simple task. The line between loyal and patriot was often blurred. My dissertation explores the complicated meanings of loyalty from the standpoint of colonial ties based on economic interest, cultural affinities, and other attachments, and the painful ways those loyalties were broken or challenged during the process of identifying loyalists and deciding their fates.