May 2015

Family Bonds: Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia

BOOK LAUNCH BY TED MARIS-WOLF Family Bonds: Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms

Between 1854 and 1864, more than a hundred free African Americans in Virginia proposed to enslave themselves and, in some cases, their children. Author Ted Maris-Wolf, Interim Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation and Abby and George O'Neill Director of the John D. Rockefeller Jr Library at Colonial Williamsburg, explains this phenomenon as a response to state legislation that forced free African Americans to make a terrible choice: leave enslaved loved ones behind for freedom elsewhere or seek a way to remain in their communities, even by renouncing legal freedom. Maris-Wolf paints an intimate portrait of these people whose lives, liberty, and use of Virginia law offer new understandings of race and place in the upper South. A book signing follows the talk.

State Records Center Archives Annex Reading Room Late Opening
Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The State Records Center Archives Annex Reading Room will not open until 10:00 AM on Wednesday, May 6th.

Coffee and Conversation with Trailblazer Ruth Coles Harris: A Virginia Women in History Event
Friday, May 08, 2015
Time: 10:30 AM–11:30 AM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free. RSVP at 804-692-3999.

Join us for coffee and conversation with business pioneer Ruth Coles Harris, one of the Library of Virginia's 2015 Virginia Women in History and the recipient of the Virginia Business and Professional Women's Foundation Business Leadership Award. The first African American woman to become a certified public accountant in Virginia, Harris was the founding director of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at Virginia Union University.

View images of the events.

Discovery Café Closed
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM–2:00 PM

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Saturday, May 23, 2015—Monday, May 25, 2015

Closed for Memorial Day weekend

Slaves Waiting for Sale:Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade
Friday, May 29, 2015
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms, Free

Dr. Maurie McInnis, curator of the Library's exhibition To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade, demonstrates how art can be used to interpret America's slave trade. Library staff will lead a discussion of whether the landmark exhibition accomplished its goals.

To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade
Monday, October 27, 2014—Saturday, May 30, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
Place: Lobby and Exhibition Hall, Free

This groundbreaking exhibition explores the pivotal role that Richmond played in the domestic slave trade. Curated by University of Virginia professor Maurie McInnis, To Be Sold draws from her recent book, Waiting to Be Sold: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade, and is anchored by a series of paintings and engravings by Eyre Crowe, a British artist who witnessed the slave trade as he traveled across the United States in 1853. This internal trade accounted for the largest forced migration of people in the United States, moving as many as two thirds of a million people from the Upper South to the Cotton South. Virginia was the largest mass exporter of enslaved people through the Richmond market, making the trade the most important economic activity in antebellum Virginia. This exhibition is not merely a story of numbers and economic impact, but also one that focuses on individuals and the impact that the trade had on enslaved people.

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