B.A. (History and Political Science) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010
M.A. (History) Binghamton University, State University of New York, 2013
Advisor: John L. Brooke
Kevin Vrevich is a PhD candidate specializing in the history of the United States to 1877. His dissertation, tentatively entitled “‘To Loose the Bands of Wickedness’: Providence, Rhode Island in the Antislavery Struggle, 1769-1842,” examines the political, social, and cultural origins of antislavery and abolition in Providence, Rhode Island. Beginning with New England Quakers’ successful efforts to remove slaveholding from their membership in 1769, it follows the efforts of Providence’s antislavery advocates to eradicate the Atlantic slave trade, to found their own antislavery organizations, and to join ultimately William Lloyd Garrison’s call for immediate abolition. It is among the first studies of its kind to track antislavery membership, tactics, and ideology from early efforts before the American Revolution through the antebellum period within a single geographic location. It hopes to offer conclusive explanations as to how the antislavery of the 1790s influenced that of the 1830s, how much the two eras were connected, the influence of industrialization on membership and antislavery activism, and how abolitionism developed in New England to make the region the center of abolitionist activity by the 1830s. Providence, Rhode Island offers an ideal place to examine these questions as it served as a center for the American slave trade, the American Industrial Revolution, New England Quakerism, antislavery in early republican New England, and as an early focus for Garrison given the city’s support for his efforts.
Vrevich also maintains interests in U.S. political history, from the colonial to the modern era, and women’s history, having worked previously as the book review assistant for the Journal of Women’s History (2013-14).
He has served as co-organizer of for the Ohio Seminar in Early American History and Culture since 2015.