Teaches nineteenth and twentieth century southern history.
Professor Ford’s scholarship has earned a number of national and regional awards.
In 1989 the Southern Historical Association awarded Ford its Francis Butler Simkins
Book Prize for his Origins of Southern Radicalism: The South Carolina Upcountry, 1800-1860
(Oxford University Press, 1988). In 1984, Ford won the Louis Pelzer Prize awarded by the
Organization of American Historians for his article “Rednecks and Merchants: Economic
Development and Social Tensions in the South Carolina Upcountry, 1865-1900,” in the Journal
of American History (1984). In addition to these professional awards, Ford has won three
prestigious national research grants. Twice Ford has held a coveted National Endowment
for the Humanities Research Fellowship (1986-87, 2000-01), and during the 1991-92 academic
year, he was an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellow. In addition to
these awards and fellowships, Ford has also served on the Board of Editors of the Journal
of Southern History (1990-1994), and the Journal of the Early Republic (1998-2002).
Ford has published more than a dozen articles and essays in scholarly journals, including
the Journal of Southern History, Journal of American History, Journal of the Early Republic,
Agricultural History, Reviews in American History, and others..
Ford is currently researching Political Thought in the Old South and his recent publications
include “Making the ‘White Man’s Country’ White: Race and State
Constitutions in the Jacksonian South,” Journal of the Early Republic 19 (Winter 1999):713-737,
which provides a revealing look at internal disagreements within the South over the future of
slavery and related issues and “Reconsidering the Internal Slave Trade: Paternalism, Markets
and the Character of the Old South,” in Walter Johnson, ed., Internal Passages: The Domestic
Slave Trade in the United States (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2004) which explores the
impact of the internal slave trade on the alleged “paternalism” of slaveholders and analyzes
the lower South’s increasing isolation in its commitment to slavery as a permanent institution.
Ford’s edited volume on Civil War era historiography, the Blackwell Companion to Civil War
and Reconstruction, appeared in Blackwell’s highly-regarded Companion series in January 2005.
Ford’s is currently working on a book manuscript, Constructing the Old South: White Attitude
Toward The Problem of Slavery,1790-1835.