Hosted by the Museum of Old Newbury
Friday, February 24, 2023 from 7:00 PM 8:30 PM
Sailing to Freedom will highlight little-known stories and describe the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad, including the impact of African Americans’ paid and unpaid waterfront labor. This talk will reconsider and contextualize how escapes were 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 freedom was achieved by sea and what the journey looked like for many 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 NEH “Landmarks in American History” workshops series, titled “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad” (2011–2022).