John Garrigus is the first person from UTA to be named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The professor of history was one of 32 scholars elected to the 2019 class and the only one from a Texas university.
A leading scholar of Atlantic and Caribbean history, Dr. Garrigus plans to continue his lifelong work on slave life in the Caribbean during his fellowship. Much of his research has centered on Francois Macandal, a Haitian burned at the stake by French planters who believed he had fatally poisoned thousands of slaves, hundreds of colonists, and countless livestock. His book project proves that a generation before Haiti’s successful slave revolution, the French colony was decimated not by rebel slaves wielding poison, but by anthrax spores transported from France in a shipment of mules.
“I think everyone who lives in a democracy owes a debt of gratitude to the Haitian revolutionaries,” Garrigus says. “Twenty years ago, we didn’t understand that. But we’re learning more and more. With this award, I’ll have the time to write a general audience book about this fascinating episode.”