David Brion Davis is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University and former director of Yale's Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. He is the author of award-winning works that include The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967, and The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution, for which he won the National Book Award and the Bancroft Prize in 1975. In the Image of God assembles many of his wide-ranging essays on the origins and enduring legacy of slavery and racism. In this lecture, Davis briefly discusses his own journey to his work studying slavery and addresses the broad outlines of his research: the universality of chattel slavery. He focuses as well on the "sexual honor" case of Celia, an enslaved woman in Missouri in the 1850s who killed the owner who took advantage of her.
David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, and Steven Mintz, Professor of History at the University of Houston, weave rare letters, diaries, personal narratives, speeches, broadsides, and contemporary accounts from the Gilder Lehrman Collection into a new history of America through 1870, one based largely on first-hand documentary evidence.