Home Events - Hiram College “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.”

Presented by Professor Timothy Walker (UMass-Dartmouth)

Sailing to Freedom highlights little-known stories of freedom-seeking by sea and describes the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad. This talk will reconsider and contextualize the importance of enslaved African Americans’ maritime and waterfront labor in southern ports, and 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 this journey looked like for untold numbers of African Americans. With few exceptions, successful escapes from enslavement in the Deep South were achieved not overland, but by water.

Bio: Dr. Timothy Walker (Hiram College, 1986), 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” (2011–2022).

Date

Feb 23 2024
Expired!

Time

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Location

Dix Dining Hall
Category