WALLACE, La. (WGNO) — Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, a historian who researched African culture and contributions throughout the Americas, has passed away. According to a post on social media made by the Whitney Plantation, she died on August 29 at 93 years old.
Hall devoted much of her time to writing many books and researching the historical connections between Louisiana, the Caribbean, and Latin America. She shared her knowledge of history as a professor at Rutgers University.
Here is the full statement on her passing from the Whitney Plantation:
“We mourn the loss of Dr. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall (June 27th, 1929 – August, 29th, 2022) beloved friend of Whitney Plantation and renowned historian of African culture and contributions throughout the Americas. Dr. Hall’s book, Africans in Colonial Louisiana, is considered the seminal book of Afro-Creole history and has received numerous awards. Perhaps Dr. Hall’s most monumental work is her contributions to the field of African American genealogy. Hall built the Louisiana Slave Database composed of 107,000 entries documenting the people enslaved in Louisiana from 1719 with the arrival of the first slave ship directly from Africa to 1820 when the domestic slave trade from the East Coast became the almost exclusive supplier of slave labor to the Lower South.
Hall found the names of the enslaved people in official documents located in parish courthouses, the notarial archives, the Old US Mint, the public library in New Orleans, the state archives in Baton Rouge and university special collections. Beyond plantation inventories and criminal cases, Hall also identified enslaved people in wills, marriage contracts, leases, seizures for debt, mortgages of slaves, and reports of deaths. Whitney Plantation’s Alles Gwendolyn Hall is named in her honor and contains the 107,000 entries found in her database. The database has helped thousands of African Americans find ancestors, connect families, and trace cultural roots. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall taught at the University of New Orleans and Rutgers University, and been recognized by numerous professional awards. She was a prolific writer of articles and books, most of whose subjects deal with African-American and Afro-Creole Culture.
We are eternally grateful for Gwendolyn Midlo Hall’s contributions to African American history and for her loving support of Whitney Plantation. Rest in power. We will miss you.”
Through the years, Dr. Hall was paramount in WGNO’s coverage of New Orleans history. Thank you to Dr. Hall for helping us uncover the untold stories of New Orleans and Louisiana.
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