Academic Historian

Richard Johnson is Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle.  He is the author of two books, Adjustment to Empire: The New England Colonies, 1675-1715 (1981) and John Nelson, Merchant Adventurer: A Life Between Empires (1991), as well as some twenty essays and articles on early American and early modern Atlantic history. He has served as Chair of the University of Washington’s History Department and twice been the University’s UW Alumni Lecturer.  He received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003.

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Benjamin Banneker, free black, farmer, mathematician, and astronomer, was born on November 9, 1731, the son of freed slaves Robert and Mary Bannaky, probably near the Patapsco River southeast of Baltimore, Maryland, where his father owned a small farm. For some years, Banneker seems to have served … Read MoreBenjamin Banneker (1731-1806)

Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment

John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, the last royal governor of Virginia, formed what he termed “Lord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment” in the fall of 1775 from the several hundred slaves who escaped their servitude to join him, as he fled Williamsburg to organize a small army … Read MoreLord Dunmore’s Ethiopian Regiment

(1775) Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation

This historic proclamation, dated November 7, 1775 and issued from on board a British warship lying off Norfolk, Virginia, by royal governor and Scottish aristocrat John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, offered the first large-scale emancipation of slave and servant labor in the history of colonial … Read More(1775) Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation