A public conference to consider the scholarship of the recent Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad edited volume (UMass Press, 2021). The conference will be held at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts and online on September 23, 2022. Presented in collaboration with the New Bedford Historical Society, the conference brings together the contributing authors of the “Sailing to Freedom” project in person for the first time and provides an opportunity for other invited scholars to comment on the importance of the book and its ideas/arguments. The keynote speaker is distinguished Underground Railroad historian Fergus M. Bordewich. Conference panels will examine the historical record and recent research about the maritime Underground Railroad. The assembled scholars, teachers, and public historians will share their diverse views and expertise about the experiences of maritime freedom seekers and those who assisted their escapes. New Bedford, known as “the Fugitive’s Gibraltar,” was an important terminus of the Underground Railroad, where many escaped slaves settled and worked in whaling and maritime industries.
Please use this link to register for in-person or virtual attendance and to see the conference program.
Professor Timothy Walker; Department of History, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth