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Border City, Border War: Freedom and Slavery in Antebellum Baltimore
November 2, 2023 , 5:00 pm - 6:00 pmFREE
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
In the decades before the Civil War, Baltimore sat uneasily at the center of a border slave state engaged in a border war. To commemorate the 159th anniversary of Maryland’s Emancipation Day (November 1, 1864), Homewood welcomes professor Richard Bell of the University of Maryland, College Park, to talk about the antebellum enslaved experience, interstate sales, fugitivity, free Black life, colonization, and kidnapping in Baltimore between 1825 and the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. His award-winning talk will reconstruct several major shifts in power, politics, and population over this critical period, as well as the fights and furies that resulted, shifting attention away from more familiar flashpoints of the sectional crisis—Nat Turner, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Dred Scott, and John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry—and toward a new understanding of the war before the war, as it unfolded in Maryland’s largest city.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Richard Bell has been a history professor at University of Maryland, College Park since 2006. He received his B.A. from University of Cambridge and masters and Ph.D. from Harvard University. His research interests focus on American history between 1750 and 1877. He has written three books, including his most recent, Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home.