John Garrigus in 2024

I’m Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington.

In September 2023, Harvard University Press published my book “A Secret Among the Blacks”:  Slave Resistance Before the Haitian Revolution.  

The Chronicle of Higher Education named A Secret among the Blacks one of the “Best Scholarly Books of 2023,” and the Times Literary Supplement named it as one of the “TLS Books of the Year 2023.

The book charts three decades of resistance and environmental turmoil in the region where the Haitian Revolution began. It provides a new interpretation of the so-called Makandal poison plot of 1757-58. New archival discoveries show how the world’s only successful slave revolution grew out of people’s attempts to survive zoonotic disease, oppression, and malicious prosecutions. An Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (2019-21) and a year at the National Humanities Center (2017-18) allowed me to write most of this work.

Click here for my description of the book’s key findings in an on-line seminar organized by the University of Hull.  I talked about the book with Patrick Jean-Baptiste on his Nèg Mawon podcast and with Brigid Wallace on the New Books Network.

You can see some of the book’s underlying research in my William & Mary Quarterly article about the devastating impact of livestock disease on enslaved people in Saint-Domingue’s North Province. It appeared in the October 2021 issue.

UTA Research Profile; Google Scholar Profile

Contact me at:
Department of History
Box 19529
University of Texas at Arlington
Arlington TX 76019-0529
UTA History Office: (817) 272-2861