Skip to main content

Rachael Barbara Nicholas


Major Field

Nineteenth-Century U.S. History

Minor Fields

Public History, Colonial American History, and British Imperial History


Brian Luskey

Research Interests

Ms. Nicholas' research interests include borderlands, slavery and politics, the American Civil War, emancipation, movement, and African-American History.

Ms. Nicholas received her B.A. in history and classics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2016 and her M.A. in public history from West Virginia University in 2019. For her dissertation, she is examining the impact borderlands and black movement had on one another during key military campaigns of the American Civil War. Freedom-seekers known as “contrabands” are at the center of her research, but she is also interested in enslaved persons and free people of color who were affected by their movement—and the movement of armies—in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She has a great deal of experience as a public historian. She has been a park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park since 2018 and worked as a researcher for the National Digital Newspaper Program of West Virginia. In the past, she was an editorial assistant for the Historian and a records management employee for Monongalia County Courthouse.