We have been discussing these past two weeks the research process that we have all been experiencing. We are finding information but very little, when we open a window into the information doors are being closed. I have been lucky that my topic at Liberty Hall and the early Kean family is recently being highlighted by professors but I’m still finding very little information. I am not claiming that we are being actively turned away, but considering this has always been a touchy subject I feel that the documents we need to gather our information is just not there for us.
I know a lot of documents from the past have not even been cataloged yet. I am hoping that us as a class coming and asking for this information is going to help get staff and interns to find it and make it available to future students. However our connection to the archives has gone above and beyond to help our class, it is exciting that she is all for this project and helping us find our information. This is my opinion so far on our class presentations of where we are in our individual research process.
My experience as I mentioned earlier is easy accessible right now, however I am still finding some road blocks myself. Not because of anyone in particular but just due to the fact that there are no available answers to my questions. I have found out about Susan Livingston Kean’s family background in slave trading, that the Kean family did not release their slaves out of the kindness of their hearts. It is all very muddled. I know John Kean’s correspondences have played a major part in my research process. I had all this information on slaves he had a fondness for and mentioned often. Then I come to find out John Kean never even lived in Liberty Hall.
So I must scrap what I have found and dive more into Susan Livingston Kean. I know she was an independent woman for the time period she lived in and I know slavery was one of the things that helped her maintain her independence from her second husband. I now know she moved into the property in 1811, seven years after New Jersey set their laws on abolishing slavery. I was so focused on John Kean that I completely over looked Susan. Let the research process start again.