In the summer of 2017, Salem Academy and College hired Dr. Grant P. McAllister, an Associate Professor with the Department of German and Russian at Wake Forest University, to conduct research for two purposes. The first was to establish evidence of either free or slave African-American enrollment at the school from 1772 to 1861; and the second was to determine whether the institution had purchased or leased slaves during the period from 1772 to 1861. The results of Dr. McAllister’s research demonstrate both the use of slave labor during the school’s history up until the Civil War and as well as the education of African-American students at the school prior to 1793.
Dr. McAllister examined early records of the institution including unpublished town and school records handwritten in German during the 18th and 19th centuries and housed in the Moravian Archives or the Salem Academy and College Archives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dr. McAllister’s research is limited to the time period of 1772 to 1861 and to the evidence found in the records listed in the report. He primarily focused on texts written in an old German script, known as Kurrent, including the Boarding School ledgers and Abraham Steiner’s report to the Synod in Hernhut, Germany, from 1818.