Thomas Foley

I am a historian of nineteenth century energy, politics, and slavery.


I am writing a dissertation under the direction of Dr. David S. Painter about the rise of the anthracite coal and oil industries and how they transformed political and ecological relationships in nineteenth century Pennsylvania.

My research interests also include the history of slaveholding by Catholics, particularly Jesuit priests in Maryland, and the antebellum and Civil War-era experiences of the African Americans in Philadelphia. I have contributed to the Georgetown Slavery Archive, was a co-editor of the Emilie Davis Diaries Project, and am an editor for the Activist History Review.

In addition to my research, I have been a professional mover, a National Park Service ranger, a legislative researcher for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (Legislative Policy & Research Office), and an instructor, teaching assistant, research assistant, and assistant director of graduate students at four colleges & universities.