Mathilda's Pass: Enslaved Women, Freedom Seeking, and Fugitivity in N.O.

Mathilda's Pass: Enslaved Women, Freedom Seeking, and Fugitivity in N.O.

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Beauregard-Keyes House

1113 Chartres Street

New Orleans, LA 70116

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Dr. Mary Mitchell, a historian with the Freedom On The Move Project, tells the history of self-liberating women in antebellum New Orleans.

About this event

Update: This event was postponed from Thursday, June 9 and rescheduled for Wednesday, September 21.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Mary Mitchell to BK House on Wednesday, September 21 at 6pm as she discusses the history of self-liberating women in New Orleans!

As BK House continues to explore and uncover the history of enslaved people kept on this property, we are often reminded of the many ways enslaved people resisted this oppression throughout New Orleans.

While most enslaved people who fled their enslavers were men, many women escaped as well. These women, active in their self-liberation, often had their names and stories surface in local newspapers through ads placed by jailers and enslavers seeking their return.

On Wednesday, September 21 at 6pm, Dr. Mary Mitchell explores court cases and fugitive slave advertisements to piece together a clearer picture of women who sought their freedom in the cityscape and social world of antebellum New Orleans.

Dr. Mitchell will also talk about her work with Freedom on the Move, a crowd-sourced database of fugitive slave advertisements printed in North America before the Civil War.

About Freedom on the Move:

Freedom on the Move is a digital archive and crowdsourcing project that provides access to information, through thousands of print advertisements, about freedom-seekers and their would-be enslavers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Taken collectively, the ads constitute a detailed, concise, and rare source of information about the experiences of enslaved people. Freedom on the Move serves as a research aid, a pedagogical tool, and a resource for genealogists. Scholars, students, and citizen historians are be able to use the data produced from the ads in new and creative ways.

About Dr. Mary Mitchell:

Mary Niall Mitchell is the Ethel & Herman L. Midlo Endowed Chair in New Orleans Studies, Raphael Cassimere Professor of African American History, and Director of the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies. She is the author of Raising Freedom's Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future after Slavery (NYU Press, 2008) and has published online for Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Commonplace. Mitchell is one of five lead historians for Freedom on the Move, a collaborative crowdsourced database of fugitive slave advertisements housed at Cornell University.

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