Nicholls to Host Discussion by Louisiana Slave Historian

THIBODAUX, La. — The lead professor on a project aimed at maintaining and spreading the stories of two 18th century Pointe Coupee slave conspiracies will discuss his research later this week on the Nicholls State University campus.

Bryan Wagner, associate professor of English at the University of California at Berkeley, is the leader of the Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project, which studies two attempted slave revolts.The first, in 1791, involved Mina and Bambara slaves who planned to steal weapons, kill their masters and claim their freedom. The second follows a betrayed attempted revolution in 1795 when slaves were arrested for planning to set fire to the Julien Poydras estate.

Sponsored by the Nicholls Department of Language and Literature, the event will take place at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 25 in the Le Bijou Theater.

The Louisiana Slave Conspiracies Project hopes to make the source materials from the two conspiracies more accessible to interested researchers. The collaborative effort is creating a digital archive of the materials with a focus on the testimonies from the slaves and their allies, along with other archival documents related to the events by using interactive maps, translated French and Spanish manuscripts and network visualizations tracking persons, places and events.

Wagner has authored four books including “The Wild Tchoupitoulas” and “The Life and Legend of Bras-Coupé: The Fugitive Slave Who Fought the Law, Ruled the

Swamp, Danced at Congo Square, Invented Jazz, and Died for Love,” both of which were published this year.


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