Author Discusses Slavery in New York
Museum’s virtual lecture hosts author and historian John Harris
KINGSTON, N.Y. – The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased to host historian and author Dr. John Harris for “New York and the Illegal Slave Trade During the Civil War” on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Follow the River Lecture Series, sponsored by Rondout Savings Bank.
New York was the last slaving port in the Americas. Slavery had been illegal in New York for decades, and the slave trade was illegal throughout the country. But that didn’t stop New York City from serving as the central port for the illegal slave trade in the Northeast during the American Civil War. Long after Congress banned the trade, hundreds of ships were leaving the wharfs of Manhattan bound for the African coast.
This talk, drawn from the Harris’ new book, The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage (Yale University Press), describes who ran the trade and how, why law enforcement was complicit, and the reasons why Abraham Lincoln’s Republic Party squashed the trade during the Civil War.
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, John Harris immigrated to the United States, completed a PhD in American History, and is currently Boswell-McDonald Chair of History at Erskine College. His new book, The Last Slave Ships, was published by Yale University Press, and has received critical praise in The Nation and The New Republic. Harris has written for the Washington Post, History.com, and The Smithsonian Magazine.
Tickets for this virtual lecture, held via Zoom, are $5 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members. Those interested in attending can view upcoming lectures and register at www.hrmm.org/lecture-series.
Maritime Museum Offers Solar Powered Boat Tours
Themes include bird watching, lighthouses, and shipwrecks
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Hudson River Maritime Museum is offering themed boat tours of the Hudson River and Rondout Creek beginning Memorial Day weekend. The public is invited for popular cruises to the Rondout Lighthouse as well as trips focusing on topics such as the Hudson River region’s industrial waterfront, bird watching, and local shipwreck sites. Most programming is educational and leisure cruises are available as well. Tours take place on board Solaris, a 100% solar powered tour boat built at the museum’s Wooden Boat School, which offers a unique and peaceful way to experience the Hudson River and Rondout Creek. Solaris is also available for private charter and all proceeds from tours and charters benefit the museum.
Returning in 2021 are popular trips enabling people to see local lighthouses, learn industrial waterfront history, see the sunset out on the Hudson River, and also experience lantern cruises later in the fall. New for this season is a shipwrecks tour, live music experiences, twilight trips, and a Happy Hour cruise. Special guest appearances will expand the museum’s tour topics this season to include indigenous and Native heritage, birdwatching, local ecology and climate change, as well as the opportunity to dive deeper into subjects such as shipwrecks and the D&H Canal.
Tours depart from the docks at the museum and typically run for one to two hours. The museum continues to take precautions to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and volunteers by monitoring and implementing CDC recommendations throughout the season. Visit www.hrmm.org to learn about measures in place to ensure safety during programming and throughout campus.
A calendar of themes and dates for the museum’s boat tours can be found online at www.hrmm.org/all-boat-tours. People who have questions are encouraged to call the museum at 845-338-0071.
Solaris is the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s 100% solar powered tour boat and floating classroom. Build on site at the museum’s Wooden Boat School, Solaris is a 44’ wooden launch that can accommodate up to 24 people (though capacity restrictions are in place during COVID). The boat is powered entirely through the sun via her onboard solar panels, and no shore power connection or generator is needed. Solar energy is stored in batteries and then powers an electric motor—so Solaris requires no engine oil, coolant or fuel and emits zero exhaust or odors. The museum offers a variety of seasonal tours on board Solaris, including lighthouse trips and themed tours covering shipwreck sites, bird watching, local indigenous heritage, and more. Learn more about Solaris at www.hrmm.org/meet-solaris.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
Become a member and receive benefits like unlimited free museum admission, discounts on classes, programs, and in the museum store, plus invitations to members-only events.
The Hudson River Maritime Museum receives no federal, state, or municipal funding except through competitive, project-based grants. Your donation helps support our mission of education and preservation.