Louisiana Slave Conspiracies

The Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project (LSC) aims to make source materials from two slave conspiracies in 1791 and 1795 accessible to interested researchers. A collaborative multidisciplinary team, led by Professor Bryan Wagner in the UC Berkeley English Department, is developing an interactive digital archive of these materials. Our focus will be the testimonies taken from slaves and their allies in these conspiracies.  We are transcribing, translating, tagging, and collating these testimonies, along with other archival documents related to the conspiracies, for the first time. We want to ground our project in the aspirations and actions of the enslaved, as they are described in their own words.

Patty Frontiera, D-Lab geospatial data scientist, and Stacy Reardon, the Literatures and Digital Humanities Librarian, are working with Professor Wagner to manage a team of postdocs, graduate and undergraduate student researchers, and outside consultants engaged in this endeavor.  One goal of the LSC digital archive is to present these French and Spanish manuscripts alongside original transcription and English translation.  We are developing a website to provide access to these primary materials by scholars and interested public alike. The site will also feature interactive historical maps that will provide location-based access to the collection but will also help explore essential but still unresolved questions about the organization of social relations and the circulation of ideas in these conspiracies. We plan to use geospatial analysis and network analysis to explore new ways to visualize and gain insight into these historical events.

The Louisiana Slave Conspiracies project is generously supported by the Digital Humanities at Berkeley Collaborative Research grant program. Additional support has come from the Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities; the UC Consortium for Black Studies in California; the University of California Humanities Research Institute; the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities; and the Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University.

Affiliates: Department of English, D-Lab, UC Berkeley Library
People: Bryan Wagner (PI); Patty Frontiera; Stacy Reardon; Susan Powell; Amani Morrison; Shad Small; Adam Anderson

Black History Data

February 28, 2023
by Patty Frontiera, Ph.D. D-Lab is excited to announce the publication of two articles and associated datasets on the Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project (LSC). This is a project of collaboration from many of our D-Lab staff and student researchers, under the direction of Professor Bryan Wagner as the Principal Investigator (PI). The LSC project is dedicated to preserving, digitizing, transcribing, translating, and analyzing historical manuscripts concerning two slave conspiracies organized at the Pointe Coupée Post in the Spanish territory of Louisiana in 1791 and 1795. Our research outputs include (1) complete bibliographic and demographic information as well as (2) geospatial place data that were extracted from trial records related to these two conspiracies: