As an architectural historian, Laura Voisin George has done field survey and research across the U.S., particularly in the Southern states. She brings on-the-ground experience of these areas and communities to her studies of the transmission of cultural values during the nation’s westward expansion of the nineteenth century, and their influence on her native Southern California. Laura has moderated panels on slavery research at Virginia Forum conferences, and served as the program co-chair for the 2013 “Telling the History of Slavery” conference at Monticello, in conjunction with the “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty” exhibition at the National Museum of American History.
Laura’s University of California, Santa Barbara dissertation focuses on John Strother Griffin, a native of Virginia and part of an extended family of elite slaveholders. As an assistant surgeon with the U.S Army of the West during the Mexican-American War, Griffin came to California with an enslaved bodyservant from his childhood. Yet when Biddy Mason was declared free forever, Griffin offered her first job as a nurse and midwife, beginning their longterm collaboration in Los Angeles’ transition to an American city.