Constance K. EscherConstance K. Escher is a former Research Associate at the Shelby Cullum Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University. She earned at A.B. degree in American History from Vassar College, and did graduate work at Dartmouth College. She also holds at M.A.T. degree. Her book, published in January 2022, She Calls Herself Betsey Stockton: the Illustrated Odyssey of a Princeton Slave, (1798-1865), merges scholarly research and biographical narrative to reveal the true life of freed and highly educated slave in the Antebellum North. The first woman of color to circumnavigate the globe in 1826 on 158-day voyage on a whaler, Stockton's own literary "Journal" anticipates Melville's Moby Dick. Primary source content presents a portrait of this Princeton Matriarch, and joins the national conversation on overcoming racism, poverty and gender-preference.
Escher's first published She Calls Herself Betsey Stockton in 1990, as a 30-page biographical sketch of the literate freed slave in Princeton.
She founded and directed a "hands-on" Childrens' Museum at Bainbridge House, the Historical Society of Princeton, first publishing an exhibit guide there in 1984, including Betsey Stockton research.
She has published articles in the Princeton Alumni Weekly (P.A.W.), in the Vassar Quarterly, and four biographical entries in the volume: Past and Promise: Lives of New Jersey Women.
Escher taught for twenty-six years in the Princeton Public Schools, receiving the 2007 Amistad Award for Excellence in teaching African American History from the New Jersey Historical Commission, and a Holocaust Commission Award.