The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War


A compelling story of a slave renegade, radical abolitionist and Union spy who rose out of bondage to become an unforgettable revolutionary leader in Civil War America.

“Beautifully crafted, exhaustively researched and well-argued. . . .” The Charlotte Observer

“A masterpiece of research.” –John Cimprich, author of Fort Pillow, a Civil War Massacre, and Public Memory

To Buy

Amazon     University of North Carolina Press      Indiebound


The Waterman’s Song: Slavery and Freedom in Maritime North Carolina


“A remarkable achievement. This book links race and the environment in creative ways. . . . [Cecelski’s] love of coastal North Carolina makes this a compelling study of an early American environment. The sights, sounds, and smells of the land and water are evident on every page. Cecelski has written a classic study that will be read widely.”  —Journal of Social History

“This highly original and well-written study fuses the best of local history to the wider arena of Atlantic-world studies. . . . An exciting and important study that enriches the historiography of North American slave labor as well as the scholarship of nineteenth-century African American politics.” — Journal of Southern History

To Buy

Amazon                       University of North Carolina Press                       Indiebound


A Historian’s Coast: Adventures into the Tidewater Past



Originally published in Coastwatch magazine, the 22 essays in A Historian’s Coast combine history, ecology, and a homegrown curiosity about the coastal past.

“Illuminating, entertaining, and essential! David Cecelski’s work is a historical aid-to-navigation, a collection of literary beacons…[that]  lights our way through the trickiest currents and riptides of North Carolina’s coastal past.”
— Bland Simpson, author of The Great Dismal 

To Buy

Amazon                                     John F. Blair, Publisher                         Indiebound


Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy

(co-edited with Timothy B. Tyson, foreword by John Hope Franklin)


“An extraordinarily rich and thoughtful collection of essays.”–Journal of American History

“Anyone hoping to advance the process of racial healing in the United States could do worse than to read these essays and pass on the stories and lessons contained within them.”–American Historical Review


To Buy

Amazon           University of North Carolina Press            Indiebound


Along Freedom Road: Hyde County, North Carolina, and the Fate of Black Schools in the South


The story of a civil rights struggle in a remote, tidewater community on the North Carolina coast and the way it changed America.

“A superb piece of scholarship. . . . Must reading for any student wishing to fully understand the legacy of the Brown case.”–Journal of Southern History

Along Freedom Road is a book that should be read by anyone interested in civil rights, schooling, and southern history.”–History of Education Quarterly

To Buy

Amazon                                University of North Carolina Press


William Henry Singleton’s Recollections of My Slavery Days

(co-edited with Katherine Mellen Charron)


A new, annotated edition of an important slave narrative first published in 1922. Written by William Henry Singleton, who had been a slave on a Craven County, North Carolina plantation, this volume is a compelling account of a long and remarkable journey from slavery to freedom in the American South. Singleton recounts his years as a slave in antebellum North Carolina, his escape to Union territory during the Civil War, and his wartime service in the African Brigade, before concluding with a brief sketch of his life after 1865.

Published by the North Carolina Division of Archives & History and distributed by UNC Press.

To Buy         Amazon        University of North Carolina Press