Robert Murray

  • Associate Professor, History
  • Chair, Humanities
  • Dir, Gen Education
Robert Murray

Research Interests:

* 19th Century African American History

* Atlantic History

* Slavery, Emancipation, and Unfreedom in American History

Dr. Murray's research focuses on 19th-century African American history and the Atlantic World. His first book, Atlantic Passages, was published by the University Press of Florida in 2021. It examines the experiences of African American settlers in colonial Liberia and the creation of race in the 19th-century Atlantic.  His current project examines free Black farmers in the Border South before the American Civil War.

Dr. Murray teaches a wide range of American history courses at Mercy University. His professional interests include animal studies and public history. He serves on the board of the Westchester County Historical Society.

Ph.D. University of Kentucky

M.A. Virginia Tech

B.A. Centre College

Dr. Murray's next research project will focus on free black farmers and landowners before the American Civil War. He has uncovered several rural free Black communities in states north of the Ohio River that were financially supported by Black farmers who remained in slaves states south of the river.

Dr. Murray teaches a wide range of American history courses at Mercy, including introductory surveys, advanced courses in American history, and the history major's methods courses.


Atlantic Passages: Race, Mobility, and Liberian Colonization (University Press of Florida, 2021)


Articles/Book Chapters

“The Half That Is Never Told: Creating a Usable Past at Centre College.” Ohio Valley History 21, 2 (Summer 2021): 6-21.


“Bodies in Motion: Liberian Settlers, Medicine, and Mobility in the Atlantic World.” Journal of the Early Republic 39, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 615-646.

** Recipient of the Ralph D. Gray Article Prize


“The End of Emancipation Street: ‘Civilization,’ Race, and Cartography in Colonial Liberia,” in New Directions in the Study of African American Recolonization. Beverly C. Tomek and Matthew Hetrick, eds. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2017.

2019 Ralph D. Gray Article Prize (Society for Historians of the Early American Republic)