Lecture: “William and Ellen Craft: The Georgia Fugitives after Slavery,” Barbara McCaskill, PhD, University of Georgia, Avery Research Center, McKinley-Washington Auditorium, Sept 9, 6 pm
In 1848, William and Ellen Craft escaped from central Georgia and bondage in a sensational fashion. After twenty years, the couple returned to the U.S. South, eventually to establish a school for the freed people in coastal Georgia. Barbara McCaskill’s presentation focuses on the triumphs and heartbreaks of their post-Emancipation years, from reuniting with family members separated by enslavement, to mounting a legal challenge against accusations of fraud. This couple and their family pursued goals of education, institution-building, and respectability that would dominate the agenda of African American leaders in the decades following the Civil War.
Barbara McCaskill is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia. Her recent book publication is entitled, Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William & Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory (University of Georgia Press, 2015).