My research interests are in the histories of poor relief, charity, and migration. I am primarily interested in social attitudes towards charity and the poor and how individuals, both patrons and receivers, experienced charity.
My thesis will focus on the German, English, and Scottish ethnic societies in Philadelphia and Charleston that provided both financial and legal aid to immigrants during the period between the 1740s and the 1810s. These societies were the charitable response of established immigrants in the New World to assist their kin with arrival and integration; they provided financial assistance, legal aid, and protection from false transportation vendors. This comparative study of nationalities and linguistic groups in different cities will provide insight into the influence of diversity on charitable activities in 18th century America. My research also seeks to understand these societies as a model of transatlantic cultural transfer, and how individual experiences of charity in the New World was shaped by Old World ethnic identities.