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.
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Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
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