Underground Railroad: New Bedford’s Most Powerful Protest

Thursday, February 9th, 2023, at 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Online event, Zoom only

New Bedford was attractive to African Americans for four main reasons. First, whaling, the third most profitable industry in Massachusetts, was welcoming to Black participants. Second, the city was an active part of an extensive coastal trading system that led to many runaways taking advantage of this commercial network. Frederick Douglass is an example of such escapees. He took both land and water routes to New Bedford. Third, New Bedford’s liberal spirit led by many Quakers made it a staunch abolitionist city. Finally, the city was home to a large population of Black people, both free Black people and the formerly enslaved. In 1850, Black people were 6.3 percent of the city’s population, a greater proportion than prevailed in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Join Ranger Rufai as he shares six of New Bedford’s agitators from the most powerful protest in its history — abolition. Local leaders include Nathan and Mary “Polly” Johnson, William and Lucinda Clark Bush, and William Still, connected to New Bedford through his work in Philadelphia, the famed Henry ‘Box’ Brown, Captain Daniel Drayton of the Schooner Pearl, and Andrew Robeson, Quaker Abolitionist.
Register for this online talk ZOOM meeting here