About the Author



Patrick Rael

Patrick Rael (pro. "rail") is a specialist in African-American history (1995 Ph.D. in American History, University of California, Berkeley).  He is the author of numerous essays and books, including Black Identity and Black Protest in the Antebellum North (North Carolina, 2002), which earned Honorable Mention for the Frederick Douglass Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.  He is also the editor of African-American Activism before the Civil War: The Freedom Struggle in the Antebellum North (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor of Pamphlets of Protest: An Anthology of Early African-American Protest Literature (Routledge, 2001).  His most recent book, Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865 (University of Georgia Press, 2015), explores the Atlantic history of slavery to understand the exceptionally long period of time it took to end chattel bondage in America (you can read more about the project here).  More of Prof. Rael's writing can be found at the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society.

Prof. Rael has earned fellowships from, among others, the Library of Congress; Smithsonian Institution; American Historical Association; Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (Yale U.); the Center for the Study of Religion (Princeton U.); American Antiquarian Society; and Library Company of Philadelphia. He is a co-editor for the series Race in the Atlantic World, 1700-1900 by the University of Georgia Press, and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians.

Prof. Rael has an established record in history education.  He has explored the uses of technology in teaching history through his online simulation of the fugitive slave experience, and has long collaborated with Bowdoin’s Information Technology Division to create historical maps using GIS.  His online writing guides have assisted student writers for fifteen years.  He has written extensively about teaching, has contributed to the development of African-American history curricula, and has for over a decade led seminars and workshops on teaching American history in primary and secondary schools (notably, several of the Maine Humanities Council’s Teaching American History institutes).