Massachusetts Historical Society

Event

Venture Smith & the Island of Slavery

At MHS

Author: John Wood Sweet, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Comment: Manisha Sinha, University of Connecticut

This is an online event.

Venture Smith was born in West Africa, sold as a young boy into slavery in New England, and survived to tell his extraordinary story in a Narrative published in 1798. He described how, in early 1754, as a young man enslaved on Fishers Island alongside more than a dozen other captives, he joined a plan to escape. The story of this ill-fated undertaking foreshadows some of the key themes in Venture’s life story—and illuminates how other enslaved New Englanders viewed the prospect of escape, their goals, and their strategies. It also demonstrates how enslavers relied on the public’s help to enforce the racialized boundary between slavery and freedom.

Join the conversation at the Pauline Maier Early American History Seminar. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Learn more.

Purchasing the $25 seminar subscription gives you advance access to the seminar papers of all seven seminar series for the current academic year. Subscribe at www.masshist.org/research/seminars. Subscribers for the current year may login to view currently available essays.

Register to attend online

Online Event

The virtual seminar begins at 5:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Upcoming Events

The Latest

Blog
Videos
Podcast