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Grant number like: RZ-249985-16

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University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA 22903-4833)
Donald A. DeBats (Project Director: December 2015 to August 2020)
Susan Holbrook Perdue (Project Director: August 2020 to May 2022)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$308,980 (approved)
$308,945 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2016 – 9/30/2021

Newly Discovered Voices from America's Most Turbulent Time: Black and White Oral Voting in the First Enfranchisement

Completion of an online database and digital resource, as well as research and writing of journal articles and book chapters, related to voting records and social networks in two Kentucky counties during the late 19th-century.

This project investigates individual voting behaviors, black and white, following the Civil War and black male enfranchisement. Two Kentucky counties with large African-American populations and contrasting economies and historical information are the focus. Only Kentucky continued oral or viva voce voting after black enfranchisement, creating in poll books a treasure trove of never before used individual political data. The project focuses on the context in which voting occurred, linking census, tax, and membership records (religious affiliation as possible) for all residents. One county is mapped at the individual level. The project follows black and white voters across multiple elections, revealing the political effects of network and neighborhood. Now we can understand why black voting continued, or did not, and appreciate both political courage and cross-racial alliances in which blacks and whites, fierce partisan opponents, cooperated in selecting local judicial and law-enforcement officials.