Sailing to Freedom: Recovering and Re-Centering the Maritime Dimension of the Underground Railroad

Sailing to Freedom: Recovering and Re-Centering the Maritime Dimension of the Underground Railroad

Join us for a fascinating discussion with Dr. Timothy Walker as he highlights the little-known stories of freedom-seeking by sea and describes the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad. Tim will contextualize the importance of enslaved African Americans’ maritime and waterfront labor in southern ports, focusing on African American agency, and how escapes were planned and managed along the East Coast, moving from the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland to safe harbor in northern cities such as Philadelphia, New York, New Bedford, and Boston. While scholarship on the Underground Railroad has focused almost exclusively on overland escape routes from the antebellum South, this new research expands our understanding of how enslaved people took the initiative to achieve freedom by sea, and what this journey looked like for untold numbers of African Americans.  

Dr. Timothy Walker, Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is a scholar of maritime history, colonial overseas expansion, and trans-oceanic slave trading. Walker is a guest investigator of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a contributing faculty member of the Munson Institute of Maritime Studies, and Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities “Landmarks in American History” workshops series for middle- and high school teachers, titled “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad”.

MVM Members: $15; Non-Members: $25.

DETAILS


Date June 21, 2024
From 2:00 pm
To 3:30 pm
Type Talk
Venue Martha’s Vineyard Museum
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