From 1830 to 1860, the City of Norfolk was the center of maritime activities in Hampton Roads as the Port of Virginia. These waterways transported goods to points North and enslaved human beings to the Lower South to work on cotton plantations. Yet, these same waterways that condemned so many to hard labor, separating families and causing so much pain, were also used to secure freedom for thousands through a locally autonomous system that fed into a national underground railroad network. This network extended from Richmond to Hampton Roads and worked in concert with northern operations, transporting freedom seekers via steamships, schooners, and other coastal vessels to freedom in the North and in Canada.
Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander will share online compelling stories, hidden for far too long, about individuals who secured their freedom via this vast network. Viewers are welcome to send her comments or questions, which she will answer following the lecture.