Professor Ronald A. Johnson

American Philosophical Society Fellow
Professor Ronald A. Johnson

American Philosophical Society Fellowship, May - August 2021

Baylor University

My research embraces a transnational approach to African American history in the early United States, with specializations in diplomacy, race, and religion. I am currently writing a book on racialized U.S. diplomacy with Haiti from the American Revolution through Reconstruction. The study also examines the impact of Haitian immigration on early U.S. religion and culture. I have published articles, essays, and reviews in Early American StudiesDiplomatic History, the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Caribbean HistoryBaptist History & Heritage, and the American Historical Review.

Project Title: Edward Stevens: A Checkered History in Black Freedom & Atlantic Slavery

Edward Stevens FRSE, a University of Edinburgh alumnus, was an Atlantic world physician and diplomat who accumulated a muddled record on slavery across the Caribbean. My project examines the influence of university faculty, classmates, and the city of Edinburgh on Stevens’s discordant practices involving race and Atlantic slavery.


  • Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (UGA Press, 2014)
  • In Search of Liberty: African American Internationalism During the Nineteenth Century, edited with Ousmane Power-Greene (UGA Press), forthcoming.

Selected Articles

  • “Africans and Immigrants: Haitian Contributions to the African Protestant Movement in Early America,” Revue Française d’Études Américaines 164 (2020): 38-57.
  • “‘A Very Curious Game’: The Racialized Public Diplomacy of Toussaint Louverture in the United States,” Journal of Caribbean History 53, no. 1. (2019): 82-116.
  • “Haiti's Connection to Early America: Beyond the Revolution,” History Compass 16, no. 3 (2018), DOI 10.1111/hic3.12442.

Selected Book Chapters

  • “Natural Rights: Haitian-American Diplomacy in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions,” in A Companion to U.S. Foreign Policy, Colonial Era to the Present, ed. Christopher Dietrich (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020), I, 93-112.
  • “Enslaved by History: Slavery’s Enduring Influence on the Memory of Pierre Toussaint,” in Traces and Memories of Slavery in the Atlantic World, ed. Lawrence Aje and Nicolas Gachon (Routledge, 2019), 170-187.