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This course looks at routes and sites along the Underground Railroad in Worcester and the Blackstone River Valley. We will examine the experience of escaping enslavement; the impacts of northern trade in funding slave ships, cotton production, and trade goods; and the role of religious institutions, including the Quakers, in ending enslavement. We will meet important figures who inspired local and national anti-slavery activities including Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Charles Lenox Remond, Abby Kelley Foster, the William Buffum family, Effingham Capron, and Rev. Samuel J. May.
Susan Franz holds a master's degree from Clark University and has taught at several local colleges. Working with other local historians, she played a key role in gaining national park designations for Underground Railroad locations in the Blackstone River Valley. Recognized by the African American Trail, Susan designed a permanent exhibit on the Underground Railroad at the Blackstone Heritage Corridor's River Bend.
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609