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Civil War Lecture: Fugitive Slaves

August 13, 2016 @ 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

USM Steamship Baltic (1850) painting

“Fugitive Slaves and the Use of Steamships and Small Crafts to Escape in the 1850’s”

Presented by: Lesley Haines, Assistant Conservator, USS Monitor Project

The Underground Railroad is a well-known topic within American society, but the maritime routes used by fugitive slaves to escape are often overlooked. By re-examining William Still’s The Underground Railroad Records (1872) and using relevant archival material relating to the port of Philadelphia, two main uses of waterways becomes apparent; the individual hiding on commercial passenger steamers and captains of small vessels bringing groups of slaves northward. This paper focuses on one steamer, the City of Richmond, as its career parallels the issue of the fugitive slave between the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.


August 13, 2016
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM EDT
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