American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Northern Slavery

American History Mondays with Dr. Richard Bell: Northern Slavery


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Who made America? This series of talks led by University of Maryland historian Dr. Richard Bell is designed to allow you to dip in and out depending on your interests. It examines how three peoples—Europeans, Natives, and Africans—encountered each other in North America and, through conflict and cooperation, created what became the United States. Together, these lectures provide a great primer on almost every aspect of early American history prior to 1877. But they’re designed as stand-alone offerings, so come on out for whichever topics spark your imagination.

To learn more about this series and view past and future events, click here.

This program contains some short interactive elements.

We tend to think of slavery as a labor system that was confined to the American South. But it turns out that that’s not the full story. Slavery was also a fact of life in many northern colonies before the American Revolution. Northern slavery was never as widespread or as essential to the economy as it was in the south, but it was there nonetheless. What did it look like? What forms did it take? And what forms of resistance to it were possible? Quite a few, actually. In fact, in 1741 white New Yorkers thought they’d discovered a slave plot in their city - a plot to burn down Manhattan’s houses, rape its white women, and kill its white masters.

Richard Bell is Professor of History at the University of Maryland and author of the new book "Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home" which is shortlisted for the George Washington Prize and the Harriet Tubman Prize. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Center for History and Culture, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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