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Researching Rural Slavery in Eighteenth Century Essex County Massachusetts - Jeanne Pickering

Jeanne Pickering, Salem State University, will review her research of enslaved families living in the rural areas of Essex County prior to the Revolutionary War. Using church and probate records, town histories and family archives, she is reconstructing enslaved families' genealogies that have been dispersed as the families themselves were.

Jeanne Pickering is a graduate student in history at Salem State University, finishing her Masters thesis on the lawsuits for freedom filed by enslaved individuals Essex County prior to the Revolutionary War. Her research interests are the social and cultural aspects of colonial slavery in rural Massachusetts concentrating on the North Shore. She regularly speaks on slavery in Essex County to local history groups and runs a website on Essex County slavery at