William Thomas is a historian, author, and digital media producer. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, he writes about American legal and constitutional history, slavery, the South, and the Civil War. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Lincoln Prize Finalist.

March 27, 2018. Photo by Craig Chandler / University Communication

Thomas is the author of A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War (forthcoming November 2020, Yale University Press), about enslaved families in Maryland who sued for their freedom in the decades after the American Revolution.

He is producing a series of live action animated historical films with co-producers Kwakiutl Dreher and Michael Burton. The first, Anna, is the story of Ann Williams’ successful petition for freedom in Washington, D.C.

The second is a feature-length live action animation titled The Bell Affair tells the story of Daniel and Mary Bell, who sued for their freedom and led one of the largest escape attempts in American history.