CANCELED: Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home
Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home
Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 7:30 p.m.
Historian Richard Bell will speak about his new book, a gripping true story about five boys who were kidnapped in the North and smuggled into slavery in the Deep South—and their daring attempt to escape and bring their captors to justice.
In Philadelphia in 1825, five free black boys were lured onto a small ship with the promise of food and pay, but were instead met with blindfolds, ropes, and knives. Over four months, their kidnappers drove them overland into the Cotton Kingdom to be sold into slavery. Determined to resist, the boys formed a tight brotherhood as they struggled to free themselves and find their way home.
Their ordeal shines a glaring spotlight on the Reverse Underground Railroad, a black market network of human traffickers who stole thousands of legally free African Americans from their families in order to fuel slavery’s rapid expansion in the decades before the Civil War.
Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award, and is an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.
Copies of Stolen will be available for purchase and signing at the event.