Discovering Black Vermont

Discovering Black VermontDiscovering Black Vermont by Elise A. Guyette tells the story of three generations of free African Americans trying to build a life and community in northern Vermont in the years following statehood. By piecing together fragments of the history of free blacks in Vermont—tax and estate records, journals, diaries, and the like—the author recovers what is essentially a lost world, establishing a framework for using primary sources to document a forgotten past. The book is an invaluable resource for those conducting local history research and will serve as inspiration for high school and college students and their teachers. 

Originally published in 2010 by the University of Vermont and University Press, it has been reprinted in 2020 by the Vermont Historical Society.

View the Teacher's Guide here.

Elise A. Guyette is a historian, author, and educator. Dr. Guyette is a former public school teacher and museum educator, who works as a consultant on ethnohistory, social sciences, and curriculum development for schools, theaters, television, and museums. She has a passion for discovering and teaching about stories that were lost because of the traditional telling of history from the point of view of the powerful. She co-founded the Burlington Edible History Tour, which tells the stories of various Burlington immigrant groups along with their food traditions and food businesses. Discovering Black Vermont was awarded the 2010 Richard O. Hathaway prize from the Vermont Historical Society for the year’s outstanding contribution to the field of Vermont history.

Discovering Black Vermont is available to purchase in our bookstore or online.

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