webinar register page

Sailing to Freedom: A Book Talk
Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad

Join us on May 10 at 5 pm EDT for a book talk with the book editor Timothy Walker and fellow contributors Mirelle Luecke and Megan Jeffreys.

While scholarship on the Underground Railroad has focused almost exclusively on overland escape routes from the antebellum South, this book expands our understanding of how freedom was achieved by sea and how the journey looked.

With innovative scholarship and thorough research, Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad highlights stories and describes the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad, including the impact of African Americans’ paid and unpaid waterfront labor. The essays reconsider and contextualize how escapes were managed along the East Coast, moving from the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland to safe harbor in northern cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

May 10, 2021 05:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Webinar logo
* Required information

By registering, I agree to the Privacy Statement and Terms of Service.



Timothy Walker
Professor of History @University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Timothy Walker is a Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He is a scholar of maritime history, colonial overseas expansion, and trans-oceanic slave trading. Walker is a guest investigator of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a contributing faculty member of the Munson Institute of Maritime Studies, and the Director of the NEH “Landmarks in American History” workshop series, titled “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad” (2011-2021). He is also the author of Doctors, Folk Medicine and the Inquisition: The Repression of Magical Healing in Portugal during the Enlightenment.
Mirelle Luecke
Humanities Curator @Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mirelle Luecke is the Humanities Curator at the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Missouri, where she develops exhibitions for NEH On the Road. She holds a Ph.D. in United States and Atlantic history from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on the overlapping spheres of maritime and landed labor, exploring the ways that the maritime world influenced the social lives of working people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her dissertation project (University of Pittsburgh, 2018) is entitled “Topsail Alley: Labor Networks and Social Conflict on the New York Waterfront in the Age of Revolution.”
Megan Jeffreys
@Cornell University
Megan Jeffreys is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at Cornell University and is currently working as a Research Assistant for Freedom on the Move (FOTM) and its connected projects. Her research focuses on self-liberation and fugitivity in Virginia, using runaway slave advertisements to understand the lives and experiences of enslaved individuals and the communities surrounding them.