Lecture | Studium Generale
Beacons of Freedom: Runaway Slaves in North America, 1775-1860
- Monday 15 May 2017
- Open to all. Free entry. No prior registration required.
- Slavery: History and Political Philosophy
2311 BD Leiden
The geography of slavery and freedom in North America was completely transformed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The northern US, Canada and Mexico all formally abolished slavery during this period. And even within the slaveholding South, a wave of individual manumissions in the revolutionary era greatly bolstered the existence of free black communities, especially in urban areas. These developments gave rise to waves of freedom-based migration, as droves of runaway slaves crossed into geographic spaces and places that for them constituted sites of legal freedom (where slavery was abolished according to “free soil” principles) or illegal freedom (urban areas within slaveholding territories, where runaways illegally attempted to blend in with free black populations). This talk will discuss how the changing geography of slavery and freedom was used by enslaved people to escape bondage.
Dr Damian Pargas is University Lecturer at the Institute for History, Leiden University.
This is the last of seven lectures in our series
Slavery: History and Political Philosophy.
This series was organised in co-operation with the Leiden Slavery Studies Association.