February 22, 2016—Adam Rothman, associate professor of history at Georgetown College, has received a 2016 Book of the Year award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) for his 2015 book Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery (Harvard University Press).
Each year, the LEH honors Louisianians who have made outstanding contributions to the study and understanding of the humanities. This year, the LEH recognized two outstanding works of history as 2016 Books of the Year. Rothman's book shares the honor with Poverty Point: Revealing the Forgotten City by Jenny Ellerbe and Diana M. Greenlee.
Beyond Freedom's Reach is a meticulously researched account of the true story of Rose Herera and her quest to rescue her children from bondage during and after the American Civil War. Born into slavery in rural Louisiana, Rose Herera married and had children while still a slave. After Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862, Herera's owners fled to Havana, taking three of her small children with them. The case of her abducted children made its way through the New Orleans courts, igniting a custody battle that revealed the prospects and limits of justice during Reconstruction.
Rothman is an expert in the history of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War and in the history of slavery and abolition in the Atlantic world. He is a member of the University Working Group on Slavery, Memory, Reconciliation and he has been actively working with students to research the history of slavery at Georgetown as well as in Louisiana.