Amanda Kleintop

Amanda Kleintop is a doctoral candidate in history at Northwestern University and a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation, specializing in nineteenth-century American history with a minor field in historical methodologies. Her research interests include the U.S. South, slavery, the Civil War, and emancipation in the Atlantic World. Kleintop’s dissertation, “The Balance of Freedom: Abolishing Property Rights in Slaves after Emancipation,” examines white southerners’ demands for emancipation policies other than the one that came into existence: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery. It explores the political consequences of their attempts to profit from what they believed was their right to own property in humans by claiming compensation for their freed slaves from the federal government and relief from their debts for the value of slaves. Using original historiographical research, Kleintop reveals the contradictory and shifting legal, political, and ideological conception of what was possible as 4 million enslaved people transitioned from ‘property’ to citizens. Kleintop holds an M.A. in History from Northwestern and a B.A. in History and leadership Studies from the University of Richmond. Before attending Northwestern, Amanda worked in digital history with the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond and public history with Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission in Richmond, Virginia.