Maria E. Montoya is an Associate Professor of History at New York University and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at New York University Shanghai. She was formerly the Director of the Latinx Studies Program at the University of Michigan where she also taught history and participated in the American Culture Program. She is the author of numerous articles and the book Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict Over Land in the American West, 1840–1920 (2002). She is also the lead author of the textbook, Global Americans: A Social and Global History of the United States (2016). She is working on a forthcoming book, "Making a Working Man's Paradise: Workers and Their Families in the Colorado Coal Fields, 1900-1950," which examines company towns and the origins of health insurance for workers in the American West, focusing particularly on the coal-mining communities associated with the Rockefeller Corporation in Colorado.
Although the 13th Amendment and the culmination of the Civil War allowed for formerly enslaved Africans to engage in free labor, the same was not true for thousands of Mexican-Americans and Native Americans in the American West. This lecture looks at the persistence of debt peonage and Indian slavery throughout the nineteenth century.