Frances Beebe is a graduate student at Keene State College in the History & Archives program with an undergraduate degree in history. Her undergraduate history courses were mainly focused on the modern European period. Frances’ research interest for her graduate degree is in aspects of slave revolt and resistance in the 17th and 18th century Atlantic world. Frances lives in New York where she owns a business in specialty book printing and book layout.
Religious affiliation for African slaves and freed-African slaves in the United States was forbidden in many cases. Slaves were usually not allowed to attend church among white people in the North American colonies or in the newly formed United States. After the American Revolution, Black Churches began to form as freed and enslaved Africans were searching for affiliations within their own communities. During the Civil War, religion played an important role in regional disputes and also implicated slaves and their free counterparts.
To explore the emergence of the powerful black church movement and how this buttressed the ongoing resistance and revolt against slavery, primary and secondary sources, including archival objects will be used. Topics that will be explored in this research include the formation of the first African Baptist Church in Savanah Georgia as well as the formation of an African Methodist Episcopal church, or AME prior to the Civil War. Research to show how and why the AME expanded greatly during after the Civil War will be the focus of this paper.