Nikki M. Taylor

Nikki M. Taylor is a professor of African American history at Howard University. Her other books include Frontiers of Freedom: Cincinnati’s Black Community, 1802–1868 and America’s First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark.

Listed in: Ohio and Regional · African American Studies · Slavery and Slave Trade · American History · American Civil War · Women’s Studies · Legal History

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Congress and the People’s Contest · The Conduct of the Civil War
Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.




Jon Gjerde Prize for Best Book in Midwestern History (Midwestern History Association), Honorable Mention

Driven toward Madness · The Fugitive Slave Margaret Garner and Tragedy on the Ohio
By Nikki M. Taylor

Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment.

“Taylor crafts a book that should be read by all who have an interest in understanding the roots of slavery and oppression of women during the pre–Civil War era. It should also be read by those seeking to understand the depth of pain and depravity faced by women living under the tyranny of American slavery.”

Library Journal (starred review)




Frontiers of Freedom · Cincinnati’s Black Community 1802–1868
By Nikki M. Taylor

Nineteenth-century Cincinnati was northern in its geography, southern in its economy and politics, and western in its commercial aspirations. While those identities presented a crossroad of opportunity for native whites and immigrants, African Americans endured economic repression and a denial of civil rights, compounded by extreme and frequent mob violence. No other northern city rivaled Cincinnati's vicious mob spirit.

“This meticulously researched and lucidly written volume is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Cincinnati and the surrounding region.”

Northern Kentucky Heritage