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Enslaved, Freedom-Seeking, and Free: 19th-Century African American Life in the Mid-Atlantic Region-Delaware Law for African Americans

Saturday, May 18 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

19th-Century Delaware Law for African Americans
Lecture by Robin Krawitz, Professor at Delaware State and President of the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware
New Garden UAME Church
309 E. Linden Street, Kennett Square, PA

After conviction in a Delaware court for “Assisting Fugitives to Escape from their Masters,” Samuel D. Burris, an African American Underground Railroad conductor, wrote a letter later published in The Liberator. In it he spoke about the fate that he feared awaited him: being sold out of state and into slavery. Conviction under the law in Delaware seemed equitable for both races, but in reality it was not. In pre–Civil War Delaware, a person convicted for a crime could be sold at auction to serve a period of years to cover court costs if they could not be paid otherwise. But for free people of color the stakes were much higher. Sale risked enslavement. In 1837, a law was passed in Delaware making it a crime to assist “fugitives from labor.” This talk will focus on the fates of the individuals prosecuted and convicted under this law from 1837 to 1865.



Enslaved, Freedom-Seeking, and Free: 19th-Century African American Life in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Kennett Underground Railroad Center (KURC) and Hadley announce a joint effort to bring eminent scholars and authors from New England, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to the Kennett area for a series of eight lectures. All lectures are free. They will occur once each month from November 2018 through June 2019. Seating is limited and reservations are requested.

For the full series and for more information, please visit our website at kennettundergroundrr.org



Street parking. Garage parking 0.2mi away at the corner of East Linden and North Union Streets. Free on weekends.


Saturday, May 18
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Kennett Underground Railroad Center


New Garden Memorial Uame Church
309 E. Linden Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348 United States
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