Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War
(WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZEA New York Times Book Review ...)
WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZEA New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly Editors' ChoiceThomas Jefferson denied that whites and freed blacks could live together in harmony. His cousin, Richard Randolph, not only disagreed, but made it possible for ninety African Americans to prove Jefferson wrong. Israel on the Appomattox tells the story of these liberated blacks and the community they formed, called Israel Hill, in Prince Edward County, Virginia. There, ex-slaves established farms, navigated the Appomattox River, and became entrepreneurs. Free blacks and whites did business with one another, sued each other, worked side by side for equal wages, joined forces to found a Baptist congregation, moved west together, and occasionally settled down as man and wife. Slavery cast its grim shadow, even over the lives of the free, yet on Israel Hill we discover a moving story of hardship and hope that defies our expectations of the Old South.
Melvin Patrick Ely, American historian, writer, educator. Recipient Heyman prize for outstanding scholarly publication and research Yale College, 1992, prize for teaching excellence, 1989, Outstanding Faculty award, State of Virginia, 2006. Board directors University Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 1999—2003, chair, 2003—2004, 2005—2008.
He grew up in Richmond and graduated from Princeton University, and from the University of Texas at Austin with a master's degree in linguistics, and from Princeton University with a master’s degree in history in 1982 and with a doctoral degree in 1985.
AB summa cum laude, Princeton University, 1973. Master of Arts in History, Princeton University, 1982. Doctor of Philosophy in History, Princeton University, 1985.
Master of Arts in Linguistics, University Texas, Austin, 1978.
Postdoctoral fellow Carter G. Woodson Institute University Virginia, Charlottesville, 1985-1986. Assistant and associate professor history and African American studies Yale University, New Haven, 1986-1995. Associate professor and professor history and African studies College William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, since 1995, Newton Family professor, 2005—2006, William R. Kenan Junior professor, since 2006.
Fulbright professor American studies Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1998-1999.
Author: The Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy: A Social History of an American Phenomenon, 1991 (Notable Book New York Times Book Review 1991, 2d place award Theatre Library. Association 1992), 2nd edition, 2001, Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s through the Civil War, 2004 (Bancroft prize, 2005, Library. Of Virginia Literature award, 2005, Albert J. Beveridge award, 2006, Wesley-Logan prize, 2006).
Co-translator, The Handicap Principle: A Missing Piece of Darwin's Puzzle, 1997.
People need to grow in relationship with God, whose love constantly prompts to transform people.
The state should not use its authority to promote any particular religious belief. It should allow people practice their own religious convictions.
All Christians can seek to create a way of life deliberately designed to overcome evil with good and to promote justice for all.
Board directors University Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 1999—2003, chair, 2003—2004, 2005—2008.
Languages, travel, carpentry, fishing.
Son of Clarence Patrick and Vivien King Ely. M Naama Zahavi, September 14, 1983 (divorced). Children: Oren New Zealand, Kinneret K.S.
Married Jennifer R. Loux, Sep. 13, 2008; 1 child: Nathaniel Patrick.