Ralph Gray Article Prize
The Ralph Gray Article Prize for the best article published in Volume 41 (2021) of the Journal of the Early Republic goes to Ann Marsh Daly’s “‘Every Dollar Brought from the Earth’: Money, Slavery, and Southern Gold Mining,” published in Volume 41, Number 4, Winter 2021. The Prize Committee, composed of Professors David Gellman, Sharon Murphy, and Emily Arendt, wrote the following prize citation:
In “‘Every Dollar Brought from the Earth’: Money, Slavery, and Southern Gold Mining,” Ann Marsh Daly has produced a remarkable piece of scholarship. With skill and erudition, she connects the use of enslaved labor in the mining and refining of southern gold to divisive national political battles over banking, money, and international exchange in the early republic. The transformation of ore into specie was essential to competing paper and hard money visions of political economy. Turning mineral into money involved grueling labor, financial investment, and sharp dealing from mine to mint, as Daly compellingly details. Along the way, her essay reminds us of the adaptability of slave labor regimes to industrial conditions and the ways race and gender feed into misleading distinctions between skilled and unskilled labor. In sum, Daly offers a profound, carefully grounded, intervention into ongoing debates about the role of slavery in the history of U.S. capitalism and provides new ways to frame classic early republican topics like the Bank War.