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Shipwrecked: A True Civil War Story of Mutinies, Jailbreaks, Blockade-Running, and the Slave Trade

Thursday, February 22, 2024

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST

In Person | Virtual

Attend this Event



Jonathan W. White, historian and author

Historian Jonathan W. White tells the riveting story of Appleton Oaksmith, a swashbuckling sea captain whose life intersected with crucial moments of the mid-19th century, most importantly the extraordinary lengths the Lincoln Administration went to destroy the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade. White takes readers into the murky underworld of New York City, where federal marshals plied the docks in lower Manhattan in search of evidence of slave trading. Once they suspected Oaksmith, federal authorities had him arrested and convicted, but he escaped from jail and became a Confederate blockade-runner in Havana. Always claiming innocence, Oaksmith spent the next decade in exile until he received a presidential pardon from U.S. Grant, at which point he moved to North Carolina and became an anti-Klan politician. Through a remarkable, fast-paced story, this book will give readers a new perspective on slavery and shifting political alliances during the turbulent Civil War Era.

A book signing follows the Q&A.

PURCHASE your copy of Shipwrecked in the Museum’s Gift Shop. 

Members also receive 10% off on items (does not include clearance).
You support a small business when you shop with us. Thank you!

Headshot of Jonathan W. White and a cover image of his book, Shipwrecked.

Registration information:

Advance registration is required whether you attend the lecture in person or online.
Evening lectures will be in person in the Main Lobby and livestreamed.

In person 

Doors open at 6 p.m.
Free for Museum Members. $10 for guests


This lecture is livestreamed
and free to watch online

Light snacks will be available for purchase in the Museum Gift Shop.

Contact Us

For additional assistance, questions, or support:

Guest Relations
[email protected]
(757) 596-2222

Image credit: Stuart, Alexander Charles. Unidentified Confederate Blockade Runner. Oil painting. The Mariners’ Museum and Park. 1971.0228.000001

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